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J Clin Invest. 1985 May;75(5):1455-62.

Differing effects of antiinsulin serum and antiinsulin receptor serum on 123I-insulin metabolism in rats.


Anesthetized rats were treated with saline, antiinsulin receptor serum, or antiinsulin serum, and the biodistribution of high pressure liquid chromatography-purified 123I-Tyr A14-insulin was studied by scintillation scanning. Time activity curves over organs of interest were calibrated by sacrificing the rats at the end of the experiment and directly determining the radioactivity in the blood, liver, and kidneys. Saline-treated rats exhibited normal insulin biodistribution. The highest concentration of 123I-insulin was found in the liver, and reached 30% of total injected dose between 3 and 5 min after injection. After this peak, activity rapidly decreased with a t1/2 of 6 min. Activity of 123I-insulin in kidney showed a more gradual rise and fall and was approximately 15% of injected dose at its maximum. In rats treated with antiinsulin antiserum, insulin biodistribution was markedly altered. Peak liver activity increased with increasing antibody concentration with up to 90% of injected dose appearing in the liver. In addition, there was no clearance of the liver 123I-insulin over 30 min. Autoradiographic studies demonstrated that in contrast to the normal rats in which radioactivity was associated with hepatocytes, in rats passively immunized with anti-insulin serum, 125I-insulin was associated primarily with the Kuppfer cells. In contrast, antibodies to the insulin receptor markedly inhibited 123I-insulin uptake by the liver. Kidney activity increased, reflecting the amount of free 123I-insulin that reached this organ. This is similar to the pattern observed when insulin receptors are saturated with a high concentration of unlabeled insulin. Thus, both insulin antibodies and anti-receptor antibodies alter the distribution of insulin, but with very different patterns. The use of 123I-insulin and scintillation scanning allows one to study specific alterations in insulin distribution in animal models of insulin-resistant states, and should also be useful in human disease states.

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