d-fructose (10 mM) augments, in rat pancreatic islets, insulin release evoked by 10 mM d-glucose. Even in the absence of d-glucose, d-fructose (100 mM) displays a positive insulinotropic action. It was now examined whether the insulinotropic action of d-fructose could be attributed to an increase in the ATP content of islet cells. After 30-60 min incubation in the presence of d-glucose and/or d-fructose, the ATP and ADP content was measured by bioluminescence in either rat isolated pancreatic islets (total ATP and ADP) or the supernatant of dispersed rat pancreatic islet cells exposed for 30 s to digitonine (cytosolic ATP and ADP). d-fructose (10 and 100 mM) was found to cause a concentration-related decrease in the total ATP and ADP content and ATP/ADP ratio below the basal values found in islets deprived of exogenous nutrient. Moreover, in the presence of 10 mM d-glucose, which augmented both the total ATP content and ATP/ADP ratio above basal value, d-fructose (10 mM) also lowered these two parameters. The cytosolic ATP/ADP ratio, however, was increased in the presence of d-glucose and/or d-fructose. Under the present experimental conditions, a sigmoidal relationship was found between such a cytosolic ATP/ADP ratio and either 86Rb net uptake by dispersed islet cells or insulin release from isolated islets. These data provide, to our knowledge, the first example of a dramatic dissociation between changes in total ATP content or ATP/ADP ratio and insulin release in pancreatic islets exposed to a nutrient secretagogue. Nevertheless, the cationic and insulinotropic actions of d-glucose and/or d-fructose were tightly related to the cytosolic ATP/ADP ratio. © 2006 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.