Minimal state models for ionic channels involved in glucagon secretion
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Pancreatic alpha cells synthesize and release glucagon. This hormone along with insulin, preserves blood glucose levels within a physiological range. During low glucose levels, alpha cells exhibit electrical activity related to glucagon secretion. In this paper, we introduce minimal state models for those ionic channels involved in this electrical activity in mice alpha cells. For estimation of model parameters, we use Monte Carlo algorithms to fit steadystate channel currents. Then, we simulate dynamic ionic currents following experimental protocols. Our aims are 1) To understand the individual ionic channel functioning and modulation that could affect glucagon secretion, and 2) To simulate ionic currents actually measured in voltage-clamp alpha-cell experiments in mice. Our estimations indicate that alpha cells are highly permeable to sodium and potassium which mainly manage action potentials. We have also found that our estimated N-type calcium channel population and density in alpha cells is in good agreement to those reported for L-type calcium channels in beta cells. This finding is strongly relevant since both, L-type and N-type calcium channels, play a main role in insulin and glucagon secretion, respectively.
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