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Research Article

Vascular transport of insulin to rat cardiac muscle. Central role of the capillary endothelium.

R S Bar, M Boes and A Sandra

Department of Internal Medicine, Veterans Administration Medical Center, Iowa City, Iowa 52240.

Published April 1988

Using intact, beating hearts, we have assessed the interaction of insulin with capillary endothelium and the subsequent appearance of insulin in cardiac muscle. Rat hearts were perfused with 125I-insulin (10(-10) M) alone or in combination with unlabeled insulin (10(-9)-10(-5) M). 125I grains (shown to represent greater than 90% intact insulin) over both capillary endothelium and cardiac muscle decreased in a dose-dependent manner when hearts were co-perfused with labeled insulin and increasing concentrations of unlabeled insulin. Perfusion of 125I-desoctapeptide (DOP) insulin, a low affinity insulin analogue, with unlabeled insulin (10(-9)-10(-5) M) had no effect on the appearance of 125I-DOP insulin over microvessel endothelium and muscle. When capillary receptors were first destroyed by trypsin treatment or blocked by anti-receptor antibodies, the appearance of 125I-insulin in cardiac muscle decreased proportional to the inhibition of insulin binding to the capillary receptors. We conclude that insulin binding to capillary endothelial receptors is a central step in the transport of intravascular insulin to rat cardiac muscle.

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