Send to:

Choose Destination
See comment in PubMed Commons below
Am J Physiol Endocrinol Metab. 2006 Aug;291(2):E323-32. Epub 2006 Mar 28.

The vascular endothelial cell mediates insulin transport into skeletal muscle.

Author information

  • 1Division of Endocrinology and Metabolism, Departmetn of Internal Medicine, University of Virginia Health System, Charlottesville, VA 22908, USA.


The pathways by which insulin exits the vasculature to muscle interstitium have not been characterized. In the present study, we infused FITC-labeled insulin to trace morphologically (using confocal immunohistochemical methods) insulin transport into rat skeletal muscle. We biopsied rectus muscle at 0, 10, 30, and 60 min after beginning a continuous (10 mU x min(-1) x kg(-1)), intravenous FITC-insulin infusion (with euglycemia maintained). The FITC-insulin distribution was compared with that of insulin receptors (IR), IGF-I receptors (IGF-IR), and caveolin-1 (a protein marker for caveolae) in skeletal muscle vasculature. We observed that muscle endothelium stained strongly for FITC-insulin within 10 min, and this persisted to 60 min. Endothelium stained more strongly for FITC-insulin than any other cellular elements in muscle. IR, IGF-IR, and caveolin-1 were also detected immunohistochemically in muscle endothelial cells. We further compared their intracellular distribution with that of FITC-insulin in cultured bovine aortic endothelial cells (bAECs). Considerable colocalization of IR or IGF-IR with FITC-insulin was noted. There was some but less overlap of IR or IGF-IR or FITC-insulin with caveolin-1. Immunoprecipitation of IR coprecipitated caveolin-1, and conversely the precipitation of caveolin-1 brought down IR. Furthermore, insulin increased the tyrosine phosphorylation of caveolin-1, and filipin (which inhibits caveolae formation) blocked insulin uptake. Finally, the ability of insulin, IGF-I, and IGF-I-blocking antibody to diminish insulin transport across bAECs grown on transwell plates suggested that IGF-IR, in addition to IR, can also mediate transendothelial insulin transit. We conclude that in vivo endothelial cells rapidly take up and concentrate insulin relative to plasma and muscle interstitium and that IGF-IR, like IR, may mediate insulin transit through endothelial cells in a process involving caveolae.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
Free full text
PubMed Commons home

PubMed Commons

How to join PubMed Commons

    Supplemental Content

    Full text links

    Icon for HighWire
    Loading ...
    Write to the Help Desk