Evidence has been published that L -alanine may, under appropriate conditions, promote insulin secretion in normal rodent islets and various beta cell lines. Previous results utilising the clonal beta-cell line BRIN-BD11, demonstrated that alanine dramatically elevated insulin release by a mechanism requiring oxidative metabolism. We demonstrate in this paper that addition ofL -alanine had an insulinotropic effect in dispersed primary islet cells. Addition of D -glucose increasedL -alanine consumption in both BRIN-BD11 cells and primary islet cells.L -glutamine consumption in the BRIN-BD11 cell line and primary rat islets was also determined. The consumption rate was in line with that previously reported for cells of the immune system and other glutamine-utilising cells or tIssues. However,L -alanine consumption was at least an order of magnitude higher thanL -glutamine consumption. The metabolism ofL -alanine in the beta-cell may result in stimulation of insulin secretion via generation of metabolic stimulus secretion coupling factors such asL -glutamate.
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