Scanning electron microscopy of surface changes on dispersed pancreatic β-cells following stimulation of insulin release

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The surface structure of isolated viable β-cells was studied by scanning electron microscopy. Suspensions of islet cells were prepared from the β-cell-rich islets of the ob/ob mouse. Cells incubated with and without D-glucose were fixed while in suspensions, filtered onto Nucleopore filters and prepared for scanning electron microscopy by the critical point drying procedure. After incubation in glucose free medium the cells were spherical with surface blebs and occasional small pits. Cells stimulated with 20 mM D-glucose and 0.1 mM 3-isobutyl-1-methyl-xanthine exhibited a two fold increase in the number of blebs and in insulin release. The increased number of blebs was still seen in a Ca++ deficient medium, and may, therefore, not necessarily reflect an insulin extrusion phenomenon. It is concluded that D-glucose induces alternations of the surface morphology in isolated β-cells in suspension.


External organisations
  • Umeå University
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)141-147
Number of pages7
JournalMedical Biology
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 1977 Dec 1
Publication categoryResearch
Externally publishedYes