Glyceraldehyde and the Pancreatic β-Cell

  • L. Best
  • A. C. Elliott
  • J. Davies
Part of the Advances in Experimental Medicine and Biology book series (AEMB, volume 426)


D-glyceraldehyde is commonly used as a stimulus of insulin release from the pancreatic β-cell1–3. It is generally accepted that the triose can be metabolized in the β-cell via the glycolytic pathway, thus stimulating insulin release in a manner analogous to glucose1–3. In numerous studies of tumoural β-cell lines which, owing to abnormalities in glucose transport or metabolism, fail to respond to the sugar, glyceraldehyde has been employed as a ‘nutrient’ type stimulus4–6. The results of our studies on glyceraldehyde actions on the HIT-T15 cell line suggest, however, that the triose is poorly metabolized in these cells and that, unlike glucose, it stimulates the β-cell by a mechanism which does not involve its glycolytic metabolism.


Insulin Release Methyl Glyoxal Intracellular Acidification Glycolytic Metabolism Insulinoma Cell 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. 1.
    B. Hellman, L.-A. Idahl, A. Lernmark, J. Sehlin and I.-B. Taljedal, The pancreatic β-cell recognition of insulin secretagogues VIII Comparisons of glucose and glyceraldehyde isomers and dihydroxyacetone. Arch.Biochem.Biophys. 162: 448–457 (1974).PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. 2.
    S.J.H. Ashcroft, L.C.C. Weerasinghe and P.J.Randle, Interrelationship of islet metabolism, ATP content and insulin release. Biochem.J. 132: 223–231 (1973).PubMedGoogle Scholar
  3. 3.
    K. Jain, J. Logothetopoulos and P. Zucker, The effects of D-and L-glyceraldehyde on glucose oxidation, insulin release and insulin biosynthesis by pancreatic islets of the rat. Biochim.Biophys.Acta 399: 384–394 (1975).PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. 4.
    S.J.H. Ashcroft, P. Hammonds and D.E. Harrison, Insulin responses of a clonal cell line of symian virus 40-transformed cells. Diabetologia 29: 727–733 (1986).PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. 5.
    C.B. Wollheim, S. Ullrich and T. Pozzan, Glyceraldehyde but not cAMP-stimulated insulin release is preceded by a rise in cytosolic free Ca2+. Febs Lett. 177: 17–21 (1984).PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. 6.
    M.J. Dunne, I. Findlay, O.H. Peteresen and C.B. Wollheim, ATP-sensitive K+ channels in an insulin-secreting cell line are inhibited by D-glyceraldehyde and activated by membrane permeabilisation. J.Membr.Biol. 93: 271–279 (1986).PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. 7.
    A.C. Elliott, R. Trebilcock, A.P. Yates and L. Best, Stimulation of HIT-T15 insulinoma cells by glyceraldehyde does not require its metabolism. Eur.J.Biochem. 213: 359–365 (1993).PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. 8.
    L. Best, R. Trebilcock and S. Tomlinson, Lactate transport in insulin-secreting β-cells: contrast between rat islets and HIT-T15 insulinoma cells. Mol.Cell.Endocr. 86: 49–56 (1992).CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. 9.
    M.J. Macdonald, Does glyceraldehyde enter pancreatic islet metabolism via both the triokinase and glyceraldehyde phosphate dehydrogenase reactions? Arch.Biochem.Biophys. 270: 15–19 (1989).PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. 10.
    A.E. Lambert, Y. Kanazawa, L. Orci and H.N. Christensen, Stimulation of insulin release by natural amino acids and their non-metabolized analogues. Diabetologia 6: 635–636 (1970).Google Scholar
  11. 11.
    J. Lerner, Effectors of amino acid transport processes in animal cell membranes. Comp.Biochem.Physiol. 81:713–739 (1985).CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. 12.
    B. Hellman, J. Sehlin and I-B. Taljedal, Uptake of alanine, arginine and leucine by mammalian pancreatic β-cells. Endocrinology 89: 1432–1439 (1971).PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. 13.
    M.L. Mira, F. Martinho, M.S. Azevedo and C.F. Manso, Oxidative inhibition of red blood cell ATP-ases by glyceraldehyde. Biochim.Biophys.Acta 1060: 257–261 (1991).PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 1997

Authors and Affiliations

  • L. Best
    • 1
  • A. C. Elliott
    • 1
  • J. Davies
    • 1
  1. 1.Departments of Medicine and Physiological SciencesUniversity of ManchesterManchesterUK

Personalised recommendations