K(ATP)-channels and glucose-regulated glucagon secretion.
Rorsman P., Salehi SA., Abdulkader F., Braun M., MacDonald PE.
Glucagon, secreted by the alpha-cells of the pancreatic islets, is the most important glucose-increasing hormone of the body. The precise regulation of glucagon release remains incompletely defined but has been proposed to involve release of inhibitory factors from neighbouring beta-cells (paracrine control). However, the observation that glucose can regulate glucagon secretion under conditions when insulin secretion does not occur argues that the alpha-cell is also equipped with its own intrinsic (exerted within the alpha-cell itself) glucose sensing. Here we consider the possible mechanisms involved with a focus on ATP-regulated K(+)-channels and changes in alpha-cell membrane potential.