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Brain Res. 1984 Aug 20;309(1):187-91.

Insulin inhibits pyramidal neurons in hippocampal slices.


Recent studies have confirmed the presence of insulin receptors in the rat brain although their function has still not been well defined. The present study explores the possibility that insulin receptors in the brain can alter or contribute to central neurotransmission. Insulin caused a dose-dependent inhibition of hippocampal pyramidal neurons. The pattern of inhibition mirrored the binding kinetics of insulin in the hippocampus. Two related peptides, proinsulin and desoctapeptide insulin, had neuronal effects consistent with their binding to insulin receptors in the brain. Proinsulin was effective in doses 30-fold greater than insulin, whereas desoctapeptide insulin had little or no effect. These observations indicate that the inhibitory effect of insulin in this tissue may be insulin receptor-mediated and support a previously suggested functional role of insulin in the central nervous system.

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