Age-related changes of insulin receptors, plasma insulin and glucose level
Ribarac-Stepić, Nevena B.
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The effects of aging on hepatic and erythrocyte insulin receptors have been investigated in 6, 12, 18 and 21-months-old compare to 3-months-old rats. Plasma insulin was elevated in 6, 12 and 18-months-old rats. Specific binding of insulin in liver was increased at the age of 18 months and accompanied with increase in concentration of low affinity binding sites, while specific binding to erythrocytes as well as concentration of both classes of binding sites was increased in 6-months-old rats. The protein and mRNA content of hepatic receptor were decreased only in the oldest animals. Plasma glucose was elevated starting from 12-months-old rats, while, after decrease in 6-months-old animals, citrulline was raised in the oldest group. The results demonstrating that specific binding of insulin in liver and erythrocytes and the concentration of binding sites in both tissues were not decreased during aging, as well as the absence of changes in affinity of insulin binding sites do not point ou...t to occurrence of insulin resistance. However, the increase in insulinemia in the middle of lifespan, elevated plasma glucose and citrulline as well as decrease of hepatic receptor protein and mRNA content in the oldest animals indicate some age-related changes in insulin signaling.