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Neuroreport. 2000 Feb 7;11(2):383-7.

Hyperinsulinemia increases norepinephrine metabolism in the ventromedial hypothalamus of rats.

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Ergo Science Corp., North Andover, MA 01845, USA.


Numerous studies have implicated increased ventromedial hypothalamic (VMH) norepinephrine (NE) activity as a contributing factor to the obese, hyperinsulinemic, glucose intolerant condition. However, factors contributing to the increased VMH NE activity remain unknown. This study therefore investigated in normal rats the effect of a hyperinsulinemic-euglycemic clamp on VMH monoamine turnover and utilization via simultaneous VMH microdialysis to establish a role for hyperinsulinemia in the stimulation of VMH NE activity. Within 20 min of initiation of the hyperinsulinemic-euglycemic clamp, VMH extracellular methoxyhydroxy phenylglycol (metabolite of NE) level increased by 54% and remained approximately at this level for the 100 min duration of the clamp relative to control values (p<0.05). Hyperinsulinemia did not affect VMH dopamine or serotonin metabolism. Subsequent establishment of a hyperinsulinemic-hypoglycemic camp did not alter the VMH monoamine metabolism profile relative to the hyperinsulinemic-euglycemic clamp. Infusion of saline (as control) in a separate group of rats over the entire clamp period induced no changes in any monoamine metabolic profile relative to baseline. Hyperinsulinemia can feedback to stimulate VMH NE activity and, as a result, may contribute to the initiation and/or perpetuation of the obese, hyperinsulinemic, glucose-intolerant state.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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