Expression of K +-Cl - cotransporters in the α-cells of rat endocrine pancreas

Sarah L. Davies, Eleni Roussa, Philippe Le Rouzic, Frank Thévenod, Seth L. Alper, Len Best, Peter D. Brown

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


    The expression of K +-Cl - cotransporters (KCC) was examined in pancreatic islet cells. mRNA for KCC1, KCC3a, KCC3b and KCC4 were identified by RT-PCR in islets isolated from rat pancreas. In immunocytochemical studies, an antibody specific for KCC1 and KCC4 revealed the expression of KCC protein in α-cells, but not pancreatic β-cells nor δ-cells. A second antibody which does not discriminate among KCC isoforms identified KCC expression in both α-cell and β-cells. Exposure of isolated α-cells to hypotonic solutions caused cell swelling was followed by a regulatory volume decrease (RVD). The RVD was blocked by 10 μM [dihydroindenyl-oxy] alkanoic acid (DIOA; a KCC inhibitor). DIOA was without effect on the RVD in β-cells. NEM (0.2 mM), a KCC activator, caused a significant decrease of α-cell volume, which was completely inhibited by DIOA. By contrast, NEM had no effects on β-cell volume. In conclusion, KCCs are expressed in pancreatic α-cells and β-cells. However, they make a significant contribution to volume homeostasis only in α-cells. © 2004 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)7-14
    Number of pages7
    JournalBiochimica et Biophysica Acta - Biomembranes
    Issue number1
    Publication statusPublished - 17 Nov 2004


    • α-cell
    • β-cell
    • Cell volume
    • Glucagon
    • Insulin
    • Islet of Langerhans
    • K +-Cl - cotransporter
    • Pancreas
    • Regulatory volume decrease


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