The extracellular calcium-sensing receptor on human beta-cells negatively modulates insulin secretion.

  1. P E Squires,
  2. T E Harris,
  3. S J Persaud,
  4. S B Curtis,
  5. A M Buchan and
  6. P M Jones
  1. Endocrinology and Reproduction Research Group, School of Biomedical Sciences, King's College London, UK.


    The presence and functional significance of the extracellular calcium-sensing receptor (CaR) on human pancreatic beta-cells were investigated. Reverse transcriptase-polymerase chain reaction with primers for the extracellular domain of the CaR expressed in human parathyroid-secreting cells identified a product of the expected size in human pancreatic mRNA. Immunocytochemistry using an antibody against the extracellular region of CaR showed extensive immunoreactivity in insulin- and glucagon-containing cells but not in somatostatin-containing cells. In perifusion experiments, elevations in extracellular Ca2+ produced initial transient increases in insulin secretion, followed by a concentration-dependent and prolonged, but reversible, inhibition of secretion. Microfluorometric measurements of intracellular Ca2+ ([Ca2+]i) in isolated human beta-cells demonstrated that elevations in extracellular Ca2+ (0.5-10 mmol/l) caused rapid elevations in [Ca2+]i. Increases in extracellular Ca2+ caused small increases in the cyclic AMP content of whole human islets. These studies demonstrated that human beta-cells express an extracellular CaR and that activation of the receptor inhibits basal and nutrient-stimulated insulin secretion. The transduction mechanism that mediates this inhibitory effect is unknown, but our results suggest that it is unlikely to be through the adenylate cyclase-cyclic AMP pathway or through the phospholipase C-IP3 pathway. This CaR-mediated inhibitory mechanism may be an important autoregulatory mechanism in the control of insulin secretion.

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