Receptor-mediated transport of insulin across endothelial cells

See allHide authors and affiliations

Science  29 Mar 1985:
Vol. 227, Issue 4694, pp. 1583-1586
DOI: 10.1126/science.3883490


Hormones such as insulin are transported from the interior to the exterior of blood vessels. Whether endothelial cells, which line the inner walls of blood vessels have a role in this transport of hormones is not clear, but it is known that endothelial cells can internalize and release insulin rapidly with little degradation. The transport of iodine-125-labeled insulin was measured directly through the use of dual chambers separated by a horizontal monolayer of cultured bovine aortic endothelial cells. In this setting, endothelial cells took up and released the labeled insulin, thereby transporting it across the cells. The transport of insulin across the endothelial cells was temperature sensitive and was inhibited by unlabeled insulin and by antibody to insulin receptor in proportion to the ability of these substances to inhibit insulin binding to its receptor. More than 80 percent of the transported insulin was intact. These data suggest that insulin is rapidly transported across endothelial cells by a receptor-mediated process.

Stay Connected to Science