Swelling-induced changes in cytosolic [Ca2+] in insulin-secreting cells: A role in regulatory volume decrease?

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    Exposure of insulin-secreting cells to hypotonic solutions causes cell swelling followed by regulatory volume decrease (RVD). We have previously demonstrated that RVD is due to activation of a Cl- conductance. The present study investigates whether changes in cytosolic [Ca2+] play a role in these responses. Hypotonic swelling of RINm5F insulinoma cells caused a marked increase in cytosolic [Ca2+]. This effect was abolished by omission of extracellular Ca2+, by the Ca2+ channel blockers D600 or Gd3+ and by 4,4′-dithiocyanatostilbene-2,2′-disulphonic acid (DIDS), an inhibitor of the volume-sensitive anion. RVD was markedly impaired in the absence of extracellular Ca2+, but not by D600 nor by Gd3+. RVD was also inhibited by the maxi-K+ (BKCa) channel blockers tetraethylammonium (TEA) and iberiotoxin (IbTx), whereas the KATP channel blocker tolbutamide was ineffective. Cell swelling was accompanied by activation of a K+ conductance which was sensitive to TEA and IbTx but not to tolbutamide. It is concluded that cell swelling causes activation of the volume-sensitive anion channel, leading to depolarization and Ca2+ entry via voltage-gated Ca2+ channels. RVD is a Ca2+ -dependent process, requiring low 'resting' levels of intracellular [Ca2+]. However, the swelling-induced increase in cytosolic [Ca2+] is not required for RVD to occur. RVD depends upon simultaneous activation of Cl- and K+ channels. We suggest that the BKCa channel is the major K+ conductance involved in RVD. © 2001 Elsevier Science Ireland Ltd. All rights reserved.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)179-187
    Number of pages8
    JournalMolecular and Cellular Endocrinology
    Issue number1-2
    Publication statusPublished - 5 Jul 2001


    • Ca2+-activated K+ channel
    • Ca2+ channel
    • Intracellular Ca2+
    • Pancreatic β-cell
    • Volume regulation
    • Volume-sensitive anion channel


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