Cytokine-Mediated Changes in K+ Channel Activity Promotes An Adaptive Ca2+ Response that Sustains Β-Cell Insulin Secretion During Inflammation

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© 2018 The Author(s). Cytokines present during low-grade inflammation contribute to β-cell dysfunction and diabetes. Cytokine signaling disrupts β-cell glucose-stimulated Ca2+ influx (GSCI) and endoplasmic reticulum (ER) Ca2+ ([Ca2+]ER) handling, leading to diminished glucose-stimulated insulin secretion (GSIS). However, cytokine-mediated changes in ion channel activity that alter β-cell Ca2+ handling remain unknown. Here we investigated the role of K+ currents in cytokine-mediated β-cell dysfunction. Kslow currents, which control the termination of intracellular Ca2+ ([Ca2+]i) oscillations, were reduced following cytokine exposure. As a consequence, [Ca2+]i and electrical oscillations were accelerated. Cytokine exposure also increased basal islet [Ca2+]i and decreased GSCI. The effect of cytokines on TALK-1 K+ currents were also examined as TALK-1 mediates Kslow by facilitating [Ca2+]ER release. Cytokine exposure decreased KCNK16 transcript abundance and associated TALK-1 protein expression, increasing [Ca2+]ER storage while maintaining 2nd phase GSCI and GSIS. This adaptive Ca2+ response was absent in TALK-1 KO islets, which exhibited decreased 2nd phase GSCI and diminished GSIS. These findings suggest that Kslow and TALK-1 currents play important roles in altered β-cell Ca2+ handling and electrical activity during low-grade inflammation. These results also reveal that a cytokine-mediated reduction in TALK-1 serves an acute protective role in β-cells by facilitating increased Ca2+ content to maintain GSIS.