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Research Article

Demonstration and partial characterization of insulin receptors in human platelets.

A S Hajek, J H Joist, R K Baker, L Jarett and W H Daughaday

Published May 1979

Recently, evidence has been reported to suggest that human platelets like several other circulating blood cells may bind insulin. To examine whether human platelets contain specific insulin receptors, washed human platelets suspended in Hepes buffer were incubated at 24 degrees C with 125I-insulin in the presence and absence of unlabeled insulin and specific insulin binding was determined. Insulin binding by platelets increased progressively with time of incubation to reach a maximum at 3 h and was proportional to the number of platelets in the incubation mixture. Maximum insulin binding was observed at pH 8. Insulin degradation by platelets as assessed by TCA precipitability and reincubation studies was minimal. Scatchard analysis of the binding data and dissociation studies revealed evidence of negative cooperativity of the platelet insulin receptor. A high affinity dissociation constant of approximately equal to 3 X 10(9) M-1 was determined and the concentration of platelet insulin receptors was estimated as 25 binding sites/micron2 platelet surface area. Binding of 125I-insulin by platelets was inhibited by unlabeled porcine insulin and to a lesser extent by catfish insulin and porcine proinsulin but not by glucagon, prolactin, growth hormone, and thrombin. The findings indicate that human platelets contain specific insulin receptors. The significance of the platelet insulin receptor, particularly with respect to altered platelet function in diabetes mellitus, remains to be determined.

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