The purpose of these experiments was to determine whether the activity of the voltage-dependent Ca2+ channel was modulated in the same manner in islets of the ob/ob mouse as in islets of homozygous lean mice of the same strain. The effect of agents that are known to alter the concentrations and movements of intracellular Ca2+ were investigated in relation to glucose-stimulated insulin secretion and in relation to the effect of forskolin. In islets of obese mice, verapamil and nifedipine both inhibited glucose-induced insulin release, nifedipine being the more potent inhibitor. Forskolin-stimulated secretion was inhibited either not at all (verapamil) or much less (nifedipine) in islets of the ob/ob mouse compared with those of lean mice. At basal glucose concentrations, verapamil initiated insulin secretion in islets of the ob/ob mouse and acted synergistically with forskolin to evoke a secretory activity that was 3-fold greater than that evoked by 20 mM-glucose. Nifedipine also initiated secretion at basal glucose concentrations and acted synergistically with forskolin, but its effect was considerably smaller than that of verapamil. A comparison of the effect of forskolin in the presence of Ca2+-channel blockers and in the absence of Ca2+ suggests that, in the obese mouse, the operation of the voltage-dependent Ca2+ channel is impaired.

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