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Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 1974 Jan;71(1):84-8.

Insulin-dependent regulation of insulin receptor concentrations: a direct demonstration in cell culture.


Chronic (5-16 hr) exposure of cultured human lymphocytes to 10(-8) M insulin at 37 degrees in vitro produced a decrease in insulin receptor concentrations unaccounted for by simple occupancy of sites; acute exposure (0-2 hr) was without effect. These results reproduced observations in vivo where chronic hyperinsulinemia (e.g., 10(-8) M insulin in the circulation of obese insulinresistant hyperglycemic mice) is associated with a substantial reduction in the concentration of insulin receptors per cell, while acute hyperinsulinemia in vivo has no effect on receptor concentration. These data suggest a reciprocal relationship between insulin in the extracellular fluid and the concentration of insulin receptors per cell, which is mediated at the target cell itself by intracellular insulin-sensitive regulatory processes and directly affects target-cell sensitivity to hormone.

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