Entry of insulin into human cultured lymphocytes: electron microscope autoradiographic analysis

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Science  17 Nov 1978:
Vol. 202, Issue 4369, pp. 760-763
DOI: 10.1126/science.715440


Electron microscope autoradiographs were prepared of IM-9 human cultured lymphocytes incubated with iodine-125-labeled insulin. With the use of [125I]insulin and Ilford L-4 emulsion, the technique had a resolution half-distance of approximately 0.085 micrometer. Autoradiographs revealed a time-dependent entry of insulin into the cell interior that was maximal after 30 minutes of incubation. At this time point nearly 40 percent of the [125I]insulin was in the interior of the cell at a distance 1 micrometer or greater from the plasma membrane. Grain distribution and volume density analyses revealed that the intracellular insulin was concentrated in the endoplasmic reticulum and nuclear membrane.