Various epidemiological studies suggest that alcohol intake is one of the risk factors leading to type II or non-insulin-dependent diabetes mellitus (NIDDM), but the effect of alcohol on β-cell function remains unexplored. To study the mechanism of the diabetogenic action of ethanol, we investigated the effect of ethanol on β-cell functions using a single clonal β-cell line, HIT-T15 cells. When HIT cells were treated with ethanol, the metabolic activity judged by MTT assay was inhibited in dose- and time dependent manners, but cytotoxicity was not observed. Ethanol also inhibited basal insulin secretion by 30% compared to the untreated control. However, glucose-stimulated insulin secretion was not impaired by ethanol although the basal insulin secretion was inhibited. These results imply that ethanol exert β-cells to overwork in order to compensate inhibition of the basal secretion. This finding may at least in part explain the diabetogenic action of ethanol.
- Insulin secretion
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