The possible involvement of calmodulin in insulin release was evaluated by studying the effects on intact islets of trifluoperazine and pimozide, two antipsychotic agents known to bind strongly to calmodulin in cell-free systems. Trifluoperazine (10–100μm) produced a dose- and time-dependent inhibition of the two phases of glucose-stimulated insulin release. The effect was not reversible by simple washing of the drug, but could be prevented by cytochalasin B or theophylline. Trifluoperazine also inhibited the release induced by glyceraldehyde, oxoisocaproate, tolbutamide or barium, but not that stimulated by 10mm-theophylline or 1mm-3-isobutyl-1-methylxanthine. Pimozide (0.5–10μm) also produced a dose-dependent inhibition of insulin release triggered by glucose, leucine or barium, but did not affect the release induced by methylxanthines. Glucose utilization by islet cells was not modified by trifluoperazine (25μm), which slightly increased cyclic AMP concentration in islets incubated without glucose. The drug did not prevent the increase in cyclic AMP concentration observed after 10min of glucose stimulation, but suppressed it after 60min. Basal or glucose-stimulated Ca2+ influx (5min) was unaffected by 25μm-trifluoperazine, whereas Ca2+net uptake (60min) was inhibited by 20%. Glucose-stimulated Ca2+ uptake was almost unaffected by pimozide. In a Ca2+-free medium, trifluoperazine decreased Ca2+ efflux from the islets and did not prevent the further decrease by glucose; in the presence of Ca2+, the drug again decreased Ca2+ efflux and inhibited the stimulation normally produced by glucose. In the absence of glucose, trifluoperazine lowered the rate of Rb+ efflux from the islets, decreased Rb+ influx (10min), but did not affect Rb+ net uptake (60min). It did not interfere with the ability of glucose to decrease Rb+ efflux rate further and to increase Rb+ net uptake. The results show thus that trifluoperazine does not alter the initial key events of the stimulus–secretion coupling. Its inhibition of insulin release suggests a role of calmodulin at late stages of the secretory process.
- © 1981 London: The Biochemical Society