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Glutamate pathways of the beta-cell and the control of insulin secretion

Type of publication Peer-reviewed
Publikationsform Original article (peer-reviewed)
Author Maechler Pierre,
Project Glutamate pathways and metabolic stresses in energy homeostasis
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Original article (peer-reviewed)

Journal Diabetes Research and Clinical Practice
Volume (Issue) 131
Page(s) 149 - 153
Title of proceedings Diabetes Research and Clinical Practice
DOI 10.1016/j.diabres.2017.07.009

Open Access

Type of Open Access Green OA Embargo (Freely available via Repository after an embargo)


Pancreatic beta-cells secrete insulin in response to circulating glucose, thereby maintaining euglycemia. Inside the beta-cell, glucose is transformed into intracellular signals stimulating exocytosis. While calcium is an obligatory messenger, this ion is not sufficient to promote the full secretory response. Accordingly, glucose metabolism produces the additive factor glutamate that participates to an amplifying pathway of the calcium signal. Although intracellular glutamate potentiates insulin secretion, extracellular glutamate may activate ionotropic receptors. As a consequence of such activation, insulin exocytosis is slowed down. Therefore, for the beta-cell glutamate is a double-edged sword, an amplifying pathway and a negative feedback, illustrating the principle of homeostasis.