In genetically occurring non-insulin-dependent diabetes mellitus (NIDDM) model rats (GK rats), the activities of L- and T-type Ca2+ channels in pancreatic beta cells are found to be augmented, by measuring the Ba2+ currents via these channels using whole-cell patch-clamp technique, while the patterns of the current-voltage curves are indistinguishable. The hyper-responsiveness of insulin secretion to nonglucose depolarizing stimuli observed in NIDDM beta cells could be the result, therefore, of increased voltage-dependent Ca2+ channel activity. Perforated patch-clamp recordings reveal that the augmentation of L-type Ca2+ channel activity by glucose is markedly less pronounced in GK beta cells than in control beta cells, while glucose-induced augmentation of T-type Ca2+ channel activity is observed neither in the control nor in the GK beta cells. This lack of glucose-induced augmentation of L-type Ca2+ channel activity in GK beta cells might be causatively related to the selective impairment of glucose-induced insulin secretion in NIDDM beta cells, in conjunction with an insufficient plasma membrane depolarization due to impaired closure of the ATP-sensitive K+ channels caused by the disturbed intracellular glucose metabolism in NIDDM beta cells.
S Kato, H Ishida, Y Tsuura, K Tsuji, M Nishimura, M Horie, T Taminato, S Ikehara, H Odaka, I Ikeda, Y Okada, Y Seino