The secretion of insulin from isolated rat islets of Langerhans was found to be stimulated by the surface-active staphylococcal exotoxin, σ-haemolysin. The response was dependent on the concentration of σ-haemolysin, was rapid in onset, and could be maintained for at least an hour in the presence of the agent. The rate of secretion rapidly declined on removal of σ-haemolysin and the islets remained responsive to glucose follow!ng toxin treatment.

Further characterization of the interaction of this agent with the σ-cell plasma membrane may provide valuable information concerning the role played by this membrane in the regulation of insulin secretion.

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