Calcium and cyclic AMP are important in the stimulation of insulin release. The phosphodiesterase inhibitor 3-isobutyl-1-methylxanthine (IBMX) raises islet cAMP levels and causes insulin release at nonstimulatory glucose concentrations. In isolated rat pancreatic islets maintained for 2 d in tissue culture, the effects of IBMX on insulin release and 45Ca++ fluxes were compared with those of glucose. During perifusion at 1 mM Ca++, 16.7 mM glucose elicited a biphasic insulin release, whereas 1 mM IBMX in the presence of 2.8 mM glucose caused a monophasic release. Decreasing extracellular Ca++ a monophasic release. Decreasing extracellular Ca++ to 0.1 mM during stimulation reduced the glucose effect by 80% but did not alter IBMX-induced release. Both glucose and IBMX stimulated 45Ca++ uptake (5 min). 45Ca++ efflux from islets loaded to isotopic equilibrium (46 h) was increased by both substances. IBMX stimulation of insulin release, of 45Ca++ uptake, and of efflux were not inhibited by blockade of Ca++ uptake with verapamil, whereas glucose-induced changes are known to be inhibited. Because IBMX-induced insulin release remained unaltered at 0.1 mM calcium, it appears that cAMP-stimulated insulin release is controlled by intracellular calcium. This is supported by perifusion experiments at 0 Ca++ when IBMX stimulated net Ca++ efflux. In addition, glucose-stimulated insulin release was potentiated by IBMX. These results suggest that cAMP induced insulin release is mediated by increases in cytosolic Ca++ and that cAMP causes dislocation of Ca++ from intracellular stores.
E G Siegel, C B Wollheim, M Kikuchi, A E Renold, G W Sharp