Amounts and distribution of intracellular magnesium and calcium in pancreatic β‐cells


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β-Cell-rich pancreatic islets were incubated for 60-120 min in the presence of 1 mM or 20 mM glucose and analysed with regard to their contents of magnesium and calcium and how these elements were distributed among subcellular fractions. The islets contained 42 mmol magnesium per kg protein with as much as 70 mmol per kg protein in the microsomal fraction. Both the total amount and intracellular distribution of magnesium remained unaffected after raising the glucose concentration of the incubation medium. The islet content of calcium was twice as high as that of magnesium, the mitochondria and secretory granules accounting for most of the calcium in the sedimentable fractions. In both organelles a substantial fraction of calcium was exhangeable as indicated from the incorporation of 45Ca during 90 min of incubation of the islets. When raising the glucose concentration to 20 mM the percentage exchange of calcium increased from 0 to 27 in the mitochondria and from 3 to 28 in the secretory granules. The glucose stimulation of 45Ca uptake was not associated with a statistically significant increase in the total amounts of calcium. However, in addition to stimulating calcium/calcium exchange, it cannot be excluded that glucose also induces a net accumulation of intracellular calcium in the β-cells.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)235-241
Number of pages7
JournalActa Physiologica Scandinavica
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 1982


  • Calcium metabolism
  • insulin release. magnesium
  • stimulus‐secretion coupling

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physiology


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