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Publisher: Society for Endocrinology
Languages: English
Types: Article
Subjects: QH301
In the 15 years since the identification and characterisation of the extracellular calcium-sensing receptor (CaR), it has become increasingly apparent that this cationic binding receptor is found in many tissues, not associated with the control of plasma calcium. One of these tissues is the pancreatic islet where insulin secretion provides the basis of energy regulation. It seems inherently unlikely that the islet responds to alterations in systemic calcium and a more plausible and intriguing possibility is that the CaR mediates cell-to-cell communication through local increases in the concentration of extracellular Ca2+, co-released with insulin. This short article explores this possibility and suggests that this novel mechanism of cell communication, along with direct coupling via gap junctions and other local paracrine regulators helps explain why the glucose responsiveness of the intact islet is greater than the sum of the composite parts in isolation.

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