Nanoscale Amperometry Reveals that Only a Fraction of Vesicular Serotonin Content is Released During Exocytosis from Beta Cells

Amir Hatamie, Lin Ren, Haiqiang Dou, Nikhil R. Gandasi, Patrik Rorsman, Andrew Ewing

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18 Citations (Scopus)
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Recent work has shown that chemical release during the fundamental cellular process of exocytosis in model cell lines is not all-or-none. We tested this theory for vesicular release from single pancreatic beta cells. The vesicles in these cells release insulin, but also serotonin, which is detectible with amperometric methods. Traditionally, it is assumed that exocytosis in beta cells is all-or-none. Here, we use a multidisciplinary approach involving nanoscale amperometric chemical methods to explore the chemical nature of insulin exocytosis. We amperometrically quantified the number of serotonin molecules stored inside of individual nanoscale vesicles (39 317±1611) in the cell cytoplasm before exocytosis and the number of serotonin molecules released from single cells (13 310±1127) for each stimulated exocytosis event. Thus, beta cells release only one-third of their granule content, clearly supporting partial release in this system. We discuss these observations in the context of type-2 diabetes.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)7593-7596
Number of pages4
JournalAngewandte Chemie - International Edition
Issue number14
Early online date19 Dec 2020
Publication statusPublished (in print/issue) - 29 Mar 2021

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
We acknowledge funding from the European Research Council (Advanced Grant), the Knut and Alice Wallenberg Foundation, the Swedish Research Council (VR). AH acknowledges funding from Sweden's Innovation Agency (Vinnova) and the Swedish Strategy Group for EU‐coordination. Also, AH thanks Alicia Lork for critical comments on the manuscript. NRG was supported by the European Foundation for the Study of Diabetes‐Rising Star Program and Novo Nordisk Foundation‐Young Investigator Program.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2020 The Authors. Angewandte Chemie International Edition published by Wiley-VCH GmbH


  • beta cells
  • electrochemical analysis
  • exocytosis
  • nanoelectrodes
  • partial release


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