Mechanism of insulin-induced paralysis of muscles from potassium-depleted rats

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Science  16 May 1975:
Vol. 188, Issue 4189, pp. 740-741
DOI: 10.1126/science.1124397


Zinc-free insulin elicited a reduction in the potassium conductance of muscle fibers from potassium-depleted muscle, which led to depolarization, blockage of action-poteintial mechanism, and paralysis. These changes are proposed as the mechanism of insulin-induced paralysis in patients with hypokalemic periodic paralysis. A similar effect by concanavalin a suggests that the effect may be mediated through the insulin receptors.