The metabolism of inositol-containing phospholipids during insulin secretion was studied in rat islets of Langerhans preincubated with [3H]inositol to label their phospholipids. Glucose (20 mM) caused a rapid breakdown of phosphatidylinositol 4,5-bisphosphate and phosphatidylinositol 4-phosphate and an accumulation of inositol trisphosphate and inositol bisphosphate. This effect was maximal at 60s, did not require the presence of extracellular Ca2+, and was abolished by mannoheptulose (15 mM), but not by noradrenaline (1 microM). Mannose (20 mM) and DL-glyceraldehyde (10 mM) produced similar effects to those of glucose, but galactose (20 mM) and KCl (30 mM) were without effect. These results are compatible with the hypothesis that an early event in the stimulus-secretion coupling mechanism in the pancreatic B-cell is the rapid breakdown of polyphosphoinositides catalysed by phospholipase C. Moreover, they suggest that the breakdown of polyphosphoinositides is linked to sugar metabolism in the B-cell. This observation is important, since it demonstrates that events in a cell other than plasma-membrane receptor occupancy can promote polyphosphoinositide hydrolysis.
- © 1985 London: The Biochemical Society