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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

Absence of down-regulation of the insulin receptor by insulin. A possible mechanism of insulin resistance in the rat.

Insulin resistance occurs in rat adipocytes during pregnancy and lactation despite increased or normal insulin binding respectively; this suggests that a post-receptor defect exists. The possibility has been examined that, although insulin binding occurs normally, internalization of insulin or its receptor may be impaired in these states. Insulin produced a dose-dependent reduction in the number of insulin receptors on adipocytes from virgin rats maintained in culture medium, probably due to internalization of the hormone-receptor complex. In contrast, adipocytes from pregnant and lactating rats did not exhibit this 'down-regulation' phenomenon. Down regulation was, however, apparent in all groups when the experiments were performed in Tris buffer (where receptor recycling is inhibited), suggesting that in pregnant and lactating rats insulin receptors are rapidly recycled back to the plasma membrane, whereas in virgin rats this recycling process is less effective. Internalization of insulin was also determined by using 125I-labelled insulin. Adipocytes from pregnant and lactating rats appeared to internalize similar amounts of insulin to virgin rats. In the presence of the lysosomal inhibitor chloroquine, adipocytes from pregnant rats internalized more insulin than virgin or lactating rats. These results suggest that adipocytes from pregnant and lactating rats internalize insulin and its receptor normally, whereas intracellular processing of the insulin receptor may differ from that in virgin rats. In addition the rate of lysosomal degradation of insulin may be altered in adipocytes from pregnant rats.[1]


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