- Jacobson DA, Philipson LH. Action potentials and insulin secretion: new insights into the role of Kv channels. Diabetes, obesity & metabolism. 2007 Nov;9 Suppl 2. 89-98. PMID: 17919183 [PubMed].
Coordinated electrical activity allows pancreatic beta-cells to respond to secretagogues with calcium entry followed by insulin secretion. Metabolism of glucose affects multiple membrane proteins including ion channels, transporters and pumps that collaborate in a cascade of electrical activity resulting in insulin release. Glucose induces beta-cell depolarization resulting in the firing of action potentials (APs), which are the primary electrical signal of the beta-cell. They are shaped by orchestrated activation of ion channels. Here we give an overview of the voltage-gated potassium (Kv) channels of the beta-cell, which are responsible in part for the falling phase of the AP, and how their regulation affects insulin secretion. beta cells contain several Kv channels allowing dynamic integration of multiple signals on repolarization of glucose-stimulated APs. Recent studies on Kv channel regulation by cAMP and arachidonic acid and on the Kv2.1 null mouse have greatly increased our understanding of beta-cell excitation-secretion coupling.