First published April 1, 1983 - More info
The pathologies of diabetic micro- and macroangiopathy are different, suggesting that diabetes affects these two types of vascular tissue in a dissimilar manner. We have compared insulin receptors and the effects of insulin on cultured endothelium from calf retinal capillaries and aorta, and the vascular supporting cells, retinal pericytes, and aortic smooth muscle cells. 125I-insulin binds to high affinity insulin receptors on all four cell types. Receptor concentrations were similar except for aortic smooth muscle cells, which have 10-fold fewer receptors than the other cell types. Insulin at a concentration of 10 ng/ml stimulated [14C]glucose incorporation into glycogen in retinal endothelial cells and pericytes and aortic smooth muscle cells, but had no effect on aortic endothelium. Insulin over a concentration range of 10 ng/ml-10 microgram/ml, stimulated [3H]thymidine incorporation into the DNA of retinal pericytes, and endothelial cells and aortic smooth muscle cells but had no effect on aortic endothelial cells. These data suggested that a differential response to insulin may exist between endothelium of micro- and macrovasculature, and suggest that retinal capillary endothelium and retinal pericytes are both very insulin-sensitive tissues.