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Neurosci Lett. 2018 Apr 3;671:76-81. doi: 10.1016/j.neulet.2018.02.022. Epub 2018 Feb 12.

Insulin enhances GABAA receptor-mediated inhibitory currents in rat central amygdala neurons.

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Department of Neuroscience, Division of Physiology, Uppsala University, Uppsala, Sweden.
Department of Neuroscience, Division of Physiology, Uppsala University, Uppsala, Sweden. Electronic address:


Insulin, a pancreatic hormone, can access the central nervous system, activate insulin receptors distributed in selective brain regions and affect various cellular functions such as neurotransmission. We have previously shown that physiologically relevant concentration of insulin potentiates the GABAA receptor-mediated tonic inhibition and reduces excitability of rat hippocampal CA1 neurons. The central nucleus of the amygdala (CeA) comprises heterogeneous neuronal populations that can respond to hormonal stimulus. Using quantitative PCR and immunofluorescent labeling, we report that the mRNA and protein of the insulin receptor are abundantly expressed in the rat CeA. The insulin receptor mRNA is also detected in the CeA from post-mortem human brain samples. Furthermore, our whole-cell patch-clamp recordings show that the application of insulin (5 and 50 nM) selectively enhances the frequency and amplitude of spontaneous inhibitory postsynaptic currents (sIPSCs) in rat CeA neurons. Our findings reveal that GABAergic synaptic transmission is a target in the CeA for insulin receptor signaling that may underlie insulin modulation of emotion- and feeding-related behaviors.


Amygdala; Insulin; Neural inhibition; γ-Aminobutyric acid

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