We examined the ionic mechanisms mediating depolarization-induced spike activity in pancreatic beta-cells. We formulated a Hodgkin-Huxley-type ionic model for the action potential (AP) in these cells based on voltage- and current-clamp results together with measurements of Ca(2+) dynamics in wild-type and Kv2.1 null mouse islets. The model contains an L-type Ca(2+) current, a "rapid" delayed-rectifier K(+) current, a small slowly-activated K(+) current, a Ca(2+)-activated K(+) current, an ATP-sensitive K(+) current, a plasma membrane calcium-pump current and a Na(+) background current. This model, coupled with an equation describing intracellular Ca(2+) homeostasis, replicates beta-cell AP and Ca(2+) changes during one glucose-induced spontaneous spike, the effects of blocking K(+) currents with different inhibitors, and specific complex spike in mouse islets lacking Kv2.1 channels. The currents with voltage-independent gating variables can also be responsible for burst behavior. Original features of this model include new equations for L-type Ca(2+) current, assessment of the role of rapid delayed-rectifier K(+) current, and Ca(2+)-activated K(+) currents, demonstrating the important roles of the Ca(2+)-pump and background currents in the APs and bursts. This model provides acceptable fits to voltage-clamp, AP, and Ca(2+) concentration data based on in silico analysis.