Author(s): Gilon P, Henquin JC
Abstract Share this page
Abstract Acetylcholine (ACh), the major parasympathetic neurotransmitter, is released by intrapancreatic nerve endings during the preabsorptive and absorptive phases of feeding. In beta-cells, ACh binds to muscarinic M(3) receptors and exerts complex effects, which culminate in an increase of glucose (nutrient)-induced insulin secretion. Activation of PLC generates diacylglycerol. Activation of PLA(2) produces arachidonic acid and lysophosphatidylcholine. These phospholipid-derived messengers, particularly diacylglycerol, activate PKC, thereby increasing the efficiency of free cytosolic Ca(2+) concentration ([Ca(2+)](c)) on exocytosis of insulin granules. IP3, also produced by PLC, causes a rapid elevation of [Ca(2+)](c) by mobilizing Ca(2+) from the endoplasmic reticulum; the resulting fall in Ca(2+) in the organelle produces a small capacitative Ca(2+) entry. ACh also depolarizes the plasma membrane of beta-cells by a Na(+)- dependent mechanism. When the plasma membrane is already depolarized by secretagogues such as glucose, this additional depolarization induces a sustained increase in [Ca(2+)](c). Surprisingly, ACh can also inhibit voltage-dependent Ca(2+) channels and stimulate Ca(2+) efflux when [Ca(2+)](c) is elevated. However, under physiological conditions, the net effect of ACh on [Ca(2+)](c) is always positive. The insulinotropic effect of ACh results from two mechanisms: one involves a rise in [Ca(2+)](c) and the other involves a marked, PKC-mediated increase in the efficiency of Ca(2+) on exocytosis. The paper also discusses the mechanisms explaining the glucose dependence of the effects of ACh on insulin release.
This article was published in Endocr Rev
and referenced in Journal of Diabetes & Metabolism