Cyanidin Stimulates Insulin Secretion and Pancreatic β-Cell Gene Expression through Activation of l-type Voltage-Dependent Ca Channels

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Cyanidin is a natural anthocyanidin present in fruits and vegetables with anti-diabetic properties including stimulation of insulin secretion. However, its mechanism of action remains unknown. In this study, we elucidated the mechanisms of cyanidin for stimulatory insulin secretion from pancreatic β-cells. Rat pancreatic β-cells INS-1 were used to investigate the effects of cyanidin on insulin secretion, intracellular Ca signaling, and gene expression. We detected the presence of cyanidin in the intracellular space of β-cells. Cyanidin stimulated insulin secretion and increased intracellular Ca signals in a concentration-dependent manner. The Ca signals were abolished by nimodipine, an l-type voltage-dependent Ca channel (VDCC) blocker or under extracellular Ca free conditions. Stimulation of cells with cyanidin activated currents typical for VDCCs and up-regulated the expression of glucose transporter 2 (GLUT2), Kir, and Cav genes. Our findings indicate that cyanidin diffuses across the plasma membrane, leading to activation of l-type VDCCs. The increase in intracellular Ca stimulated insulin secretion and the expression of genes involved in this process. These findings suggest that cyanidin could be used as a promising agent to stimulate insulin secretion.

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