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Rapid bidirectional effects of insulin on hypothalamic noradrenergic and serotoninergic neuronal activity in the rat: role in glucose homeostasis


Glucose release from the liver is mediated by hypothalamic norepinephrine (NE) neuronal activity, but glucose itself (or a metabolite of it) exerts negative feedback effects on central NE activity. The aim of the present study was to investigate a possible role for insulin in these central glucose homeostatic mechanisms. Computerized gas chromatography-mass spectrometry was used to assess the neuronal activities of hypothalamic NE and serotonin [5-hydroxytryptamine (5-HT)] in rats after acute insulin (2 U/kg) administration. Medial basal hypothalamic NE neuronal activity was assessed by the ratio of 3,4-dihydroxyphenylethyleneglycol to NE. The ratio was suppressed (P less than 0.005) 10 min after insulin administration but rose again to be significantly higher (P less than 0.05) than in saline controls by 30 min and at 45 min post insulin was highly significantly elevated. Hypothalamic 5-HT neuronal activity was assessed by the ratio of 5-hydroxyindoleacetic acid to 5-HT and showed effects opposite to those on NE and was elevated (P less than 0.0005) 10 min post insulin. Significant changes in serum corticosterone and GH levels also occurred after insulin administration, and the changes in these two hormones were positively associated with the changes in hypothalamic neuronal activities of NE and 5-HT, respectively. Serum glucagon levels were found to be significantly elevated in association with the secondary rise in hypothalamic NE activity but did not fall in the 10 min postinsulin phase thus indicating stimulation of pancreatic glucagon release by central NE neuronal pathways. The hypothalamic NE and 5-HT neural responses to a bolus dose of insulin were unaffected by feeding or fasting. These results and evidence that brain glucose utilization is reduced in the immediate postinsulin period suggest that the rapid effects of insulin on hypothalamic NE and 5-HT neuronal activities is a direct one not mediated by stimulation of brain glucose uptake.

Type Journal
ISBN 0013-7227 (Print)
Authors Smythe, G. A.;Bradshaw, J. E.;Nicholson, M. V.;Grunstein, H. S.;Storlien, L. H. :
Published Date 1985-01-01 00:00:00
Published Volume 117
Published Issue 4
Published Pages 1590-7
Status Published In-print