Insulin and the Brain

Author(s): Fatemeh Derakhshan, Cory Toth

Journal Name: Current Diabetes Reviews

Volume 9 , Issue 2 , 2013

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Mainly known for its role in peripheral glucose homeostasis, insulin has also significant impact within the brain, functioning as a key neuromodulator in behavioral, cellular, biochemical and molecular studies. The brain is now regarded as an insulin-sensitive organ with widespread, yet selective, expression of the insulin receptor in the olfactory bulb, hypothalamus, hippocampus, cerebellum, amygdala and cerebral cortex. Insulin receptor signaling in the brain is important for neuronal development, glucoregulation, feeding behavior, body weight, and cognitive processes such as with attention, executive functioning, learning and memory. Emerging evidence has demonstrated insulin receptor signaling to be impaired in several neurological disorders. Moreover, insulin receptor signaling is recognized as important for dendritic outgrowth, neuronal survival, circuit development, synaptic plasticity and postsynaptic neurotransmitter receptor trafficking. We review the multiple roles of insulin in the brain, as well as its endogenous trafficking to the brain or its exogenous intervention. Although insulin can be directly targeted to the brain via intracerebroventricular (ICV) or intraparenchymal delivery, these invasive techniques are with significant risk, necessitating repeated surgical intervention and providing potential for systemic hypoglycemia. Another method, intranasal delivery, is a non-invasive, safe, and alternative approach which rapidly targets delivery of molecules to the brain while minimizing systemic exposure. Over the last decades, the delivery of intranasal insulin in animal models and human patients has evolved and expanded, permitting new hope for associated neurodegenerative and neurovascular disorders.

Keywords: Central nervous system diseases, Diabetes, Food intake, Insulin, Intranasal delivery, Memory.

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Article Details

Year: 2013
Page: [102 - 116]
Pages: 15
DOI: 10.2174/1573399811309020002
Price: $65

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