The effect of anodal/cathodal biphasic electrical stimulation on insulin release

David Siegel, Serapio M. Baca, David C. Thompson, Molly M. Huntsman, Morton M. Mower, David Ross

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


We studied the effects of electrical stimulation on insulin release from rat insulinoma (INS-1) cells. The anodal/cathodal biphasic stimulation (ACBPS) electrical waveform resulted in a voltage- and stimulation duration-dependent increase in insulin release. ACBPS elicited insulin release both in the presence and absence of glucose. Basal and ACBPS-induced insulin secretion could be inhibited by mitochondrial poisons and calcium channel blockers, indicating that insulin release was dependent on adenosine triphosphate (ATP) and the influx of calcium. ACBPS parameters that released insulin caused no detectable plasma membrane damage or cytotoxicity, although temporary morphological changes could be observed immediately after ACBPS. ACBPS did not alter the plasma membrane transmembrane potential but did cause pronounced uptake of MitoTracker Red into the mitochondrial membrane, indicating an increased mitochondrial membrane potential. While the ATP:ADP ratio after ACBPS did not change, the guanosine triphosphate (GTP) levels increased and increased GTP levels have previously been associated with insulin release in INS-1 cells. These results provide evidence that ACBPS can have significant biological effects on cells. In the case of INS-1 cells, ACBPS promotes insulin release without causing cytotoxicity.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)16389-16399
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Cellular Physiology
Issue number9
StatePublished - Sep 2019
Externally publishedYes


  • anodal/cathodal biphasic stimulation
  • biphasic waveform
  • insulin
  • insulinoma
  • mitochondrial membrane potential
  • transmembrane potential

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physiology
  • Clinical Biochemistry
  • Cell Biology


Dive into the research topics of 'The effect of anodal/cathodal biphasic electrical stimulation on insulin release'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this