2016 Volume 7 Issue 2 Pages 217-225
Pancreatic β-cells exhibit bursting electrical activity, which is correlated with insulin secretion. It has been reported that several ionic channels may contribute to the characteristic electrical activities of these cells but their mechanisms are still unclear. In this study, we examined how the characteristic electrical activity of isolated β-cells occurs. Using a simple mathematical model of pancreatic β-cells, we found that conductances of the voltage-sensitive mixed ion channel and voltage-sensitive potassium channel contribute to such electrical activity. In addition, we found that noise can play a key role in this activity. These results imply that the bursting electrical activity of pancreatic β-cells can be controlled by ionic conductances or noise. Such control enables medical application of β-cells in type II diabetes, wherein insulin secretion is difficult to control. Our findings may contribute to a novel treatment for type II diabetes.