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JC Marie, D Bailbe, E Gylfe and B Portha

We examined to what extent the abnormal glucose-dependent insulin secretion observed in NIDDM (non-insulin-dependent diabetes mellitus) is related to alterations in the handling of cytosolic Ca2+ of islets of Langerhans. Using two recognized rat models of NIDDM, the GK (Goto-Kakizaki) spontaneous model and the nSTZ (neonatal streptozotocin) induced model, we could detect several common alterations in the glucose-induced [Ca2+]i cytosolic responses. First, the initial reduction of [Ca2+]i following high glucose (16.7 mM) observed routinely in islets obtained from non-diabetic Wistar rats could not be detected in GK and nSTZ islets. Second, a delayed response for glucose to induce a subsequent 3% increase of [Ca2+]i over basal level was observed in both GK (321+/-40 s, n=11) and nSTZ (326+/-38 s, n=13) islets as compared with Wistar islets (198+/-20 s, n=11), values representing means+/-s.e.m. Third, the rate of increase in [Ca2+]i in response to a high glucose challenge was 25% and 40% lower in GK and nSTZ respectively, as compared with Wistar islets. Fourth, the maximal [Ca2+](i) level reached after 10 min of perifusion with 16.7 mM glucose was lower with GK and nSTZ islets and represented respectively 60% and 90% of that of Wistar islets. Further, thapsigargin, a blocker of Ca2+/ATPases (SERCA), abolished the initial reduction in [Ca2+]i observed in response to high glucose and induced fast [Ca2+]i oscillations with high amplitude in Wistar islets. The latter effect was not seen in GK and nSTZ islets. In these two NIDDM models, several common alterations in glucose-induced Ca2+ handling were revealed which may contribute to their poor glucose-induced insulin secretion.

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G Skoglund, A Basmaciogullari, B Rouot, JC Marie and G Rosselin

G protein alpha-subunits are involved in the transduction of receptor-mediated regulation of insulin and glucagon secretions. To get further insight into the status of G proteins in alpha- and beta-cells of the Langerhans islets, we have used immunohistochemistry to study the distribution of alpha-subunits in pancreas sections from the rat. Our results show that only insulin-immunoreactive beta-cells display immunoreactivity for selective antibodies directed against the different members of the Galphas and Galpha12-families (alphas, alphaolf, and alpha12, alpha13 respectively). Immunoreactivities for antibodies directed against members of the Galphaq- and Galphai-families showed a more diverse localization: alpha11 and alphao2 were only detected in glucagon-immunoreactive alpha-cells, whereas alphai1 was detected in all beta-cells but only in a few alpha-cells. Even though beta-cells showed immunoreactivities for alphao-non-isoform-selective antibodies, we could not identify the isoform(s) present using selective alphao1 and alphao2 antibodies. Other members of the Galphai- and Galphaq-families (alphai3, alphat2, alphaz and alphaq) were detected in both alpha- and beta-cells. In conclusion, our findings demonstrate a clear difference in the localization of G protein alpha-subunits between alpha- and beta-cells, suggesting the involvement of specific receptor transduction pathways for the neuronal/hormonal regulation of alpha- and beta-cell functions.