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Journal of Integrative Medicine ›› 2023, Vol. 21 ›› Issue (1): 99-105.doi: 10.1016/j.joim.2022.11.003

• Original Experimental Research • Previous Articles     Next Articles

Ferulic acid enhances insulin secretion by potentiating L-type Ca2+ channel activation

Katesirin Ruamyod, Wattana B. Watanapa, Chanrit Kakhai, Pimchanok Nambundit, Sukrit Treewaree, Parin Wongsanupa   

  1. Department of Physiology, Faculty of Medicine Siriraj Hospital, Mahidol University, Bangkok 10700, Thailand
  • Received:2022-04-02 Accepted:2022-10-26 Online:2023-01-19 Published:2023-01-19
  • Contact: Wattana B. Watanapa

Objective: To investigate the effect of ferulic acid, a natural compound, on pancreatic beta cell viability, Ca2+ channels, and insulin secretion.
Methods: We studied the effects of ferulic acid on rat insulinoma cell line viability using the 3-(4,5-dimethylthiazol-2-yl)-2,5-diphenyltetrazolium bromide viability assay. The whole-cell patch-clamp technique and enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay were also used to examine the action of ferulic acid on Ca2+ channels and insulin secretion, respectively.
Results: Ferulic acid did not affect cell viability during exposures up to 72 hours. The electrophysiological study demonstrated that ferulic acid rapidly and concentration-dependently increased L-type Ca2+ channel current, shifting its activation curve in the hyperpolarizing direction with a decreased slope factor, while the voltage dependence of inactivation was not affected. On the other hand, ferulic acid have no effect on T-type Ca2+ channels. Furthermore, ferulic acid significantly increased insulin secretion, an effect inhibited by nifedipine and Ca2+-free extracellular fluid, confirming that ferulic acid-induced insulin secretion in these cells was mediated by augmenting Ca2+ influx through L-type Ca2+ channel. Our data also suggest that this may be a direct, nongenomic action.
Conclusion: This is the first electrophysiological demonstration that acute ferulic acid treatment could increase L-type Ca2+ channel current in pancreatic β cells by enhancing its voltage dependence of activation, leading to insulin secretion.

Key words: Calcium channels, L-type, Diabetes mellitus, type 2, Ferulic acid, Insulin, Insulin-secreting cells, Patch-clamp techniques

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