Mechanisms of transport of 5-hydroxytryptamine in the pancreatic B-cell were investigated by using cell suspensions and secretory granules prepared from a transplantable rat insulinoma. (1) Cells incubated with 5-hydroxy[G-3H]tryptamine at concentrations ranging from 0.1 microM to 5 mM accumulated the radioisotope principally by a simple diffusion process. The incorporated radioactivity was recovered principally as the parent molecule and was recovered predominantly in soluble protein and secretory-granule fractions prepared from the tissue. (2) Isolated granules incubated in buffered iso-osmotic medium without ATP accumulated the amine to concentrations up to 38-fold that of the medium. This process was insensitive to reserpine and occurred over a wide range of 5-hydroxytryptamine concentrations (0.075 microM-25 mM). Above 5 mM, 5-hydroxytryptamine accumulation decreased in parallel with the breakdown of the delta pH across the granule membrane. Uptake was favoured by alkaline media and was reduced by the addition of (NH4)2SO4. In both cases a close correlation was observed between uptake and the transmembrane delta pH, a finding that suggested that 5-hydroxytryptamine permeated the membrane as the free base and equilibrated across the membrane with the delta pH. Binding of 5-hydroxytryptamine to granule constituents also played a part in this process. ATP caused a further doubling of granule 5-hydroxytryptamine uptake by a process that was sensitive to reserpine (0.5 microM). Inhibitor studies suggested that amine transport in this instance was linked to the activity of the granule membrane proton-translocating ATPase. (3) It was concluded that the uptake of amines driven by proton gradients across the insulin-granule membrane could account for the accumulation in vivo of amines in the B-cell.
- © 1983 London: The Biochemical Society