Evidence is accumulating that Ca2+-regulated K+ (KCa) channels are important for beta cell function. We used BK channel knockout (BK-KO) mice to examine the role of these KCa channels for glucose homeostasis, beta cell function and viability. Glucose and insulin tolerance were tested with male wild-type and BK-KO mice. BK channels were detected by single-cell RT-PCR, cytosolic Ca2+ concentration ([Ca2+]c) by fura-2 fluorescence, and insulin secretion by radioimmunoassay. Electrophysiology was performed with the patch-clamp technique. Apoptosis was detected via caspase 3 or TUNEL assay.
- glucose homeostasis