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Sun Apr 10 21:06:40 EST 2005

> In article <41hpov$mqk at whitbeck.ncl.ac.uk> erasmus harland,
> p.s.e.harland at ncl.ac.uk writes:
>>I am interested in brain metabolism, how does insulin function in 

> My understanding was that insulin doesn't cross the blood/brain
> barrier, and so doesn't have direct effects on neurons, but rather
> indirect effects through altering the glucose levels in the blood
> the goes to the brain. Is this completely wrong?

I estimate it to be about 50% wrong :-).  While I'm pretty sure
that insulin does not cross the BBB, that does *not* mean that
it doesn't have direct effects on neurons.  There are 2 ways
that insulin could have direct neuronal effects without
breaching the BBB: 1) by affecting neurons that are outside
the BBB; 2) via cellular synthesis and release within the
brain.  The first is most definitely the case for various
hypothalamic neurons.  The second is hinted at by reports of
expression of insulin mRNA by CNS neurons and by demonstrations
of mRNA expression and insulin secretion by some cultured
Steve Matheson                      sfm at neurobio.arizona.edu
"...lips that speak knowledge are a rare jewel."  --Proverbs

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