A novel insulin-secreting cell line (BRIN-BD11) was established after electrofusion of RINm5F cells with New England Deaconess Hospital rat pancreatic islet cells. Wells of cell fusion mixture with insulin output 5–10 times greater than parent RINm5F cells were subcultured with eventual establishment of clones, including BRIN-BD11. Morphological studies established that these cells grow as monolayers with epithelioid characteristics, maintaining stability in tissue culture for >50 passages. Culture of these cells for 24 h at 5.6–33.3 mmol/l glucose revealed a 1.8- to 2.0-fold increase of insulin output compared with 1.4 mmol/l glucose. Dynamic insulin release was recorded in response to 16.7 mmol/l glucose, resulting in a rapid threefold insulin secretory peak followed by a sustained output slightly above basal. In acute 20-min tests, 4.2–16.7 mmol/l glucose evoked a stepwise twoto threefold stimulation of insulin release. 3-Isobutyl-1-methylxanthine (1 mmol/l) served to increase basal and glucose-stimulated insulin release, shifting the threshold from 4.4 to 1.1 mmol/l glucose. Stimulation of insulin secretion with 16.7 mmol/l glucose was abolished by mannoheptulose or diazoxide (15 or 0.5 mmol/l). In contrast, glyceraldehyde (10 mmol/l) and 25 mmol/l K+ evoked 1.7- to 9.0-fold insulin responses. l-Alanine (10 mmol/l) evoked a twofold secretory response, which was potentiated 1.4-fold by increasing the Ca2+ concentration from 1.28 to 7.68 mmol/l. Forskolin (25 εmol/l) and phorbol 12-myristate 13-acetate (10 nmol/1) both increased insulin secretion in the presence of l-alanine (1.4- and 1.8-fold, respectively). Western blotting confirmed that BRIN-BD11 cells expressed the GLUT2 glucose transporter. This, coupled with a high glucokinase/hexokinase ratio in the cells, confirms an intact glucose sensing mechanism. High-performance liquid chromatography analysis demonstrated that insulin was the major product secreted under stimulatory conditions. Collectively, these data indicate that the BRIN-BD11 cell line represents an important stable glucose-responsive insulinsecreting β-cell line for future studies.

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