Insulin binding was measured in membrane particles prepared from the liver and several brain regions of 4-month-old female Zucker fa/fa (obese), Fa/fa (heterozygous), and Fa/Fa (lean) rats. High affinity insulin binding was decreased in the olfactory bulb of fatty (0.23 pmol bound/mg protein) and heterozygous (0.16 pmol/mg) rats compared with that in the lean controls (0.64 pmol/mg). Total binding was not changed in the cerebral cortex or hypothalamus. High affinity insulin binding was also decreased in the liver of both fatty (0.44 ± 0.22 pmol/mg; P < 0.01) and heterozygous (0.75 ± 0.35 pmol/mg) animals compared with that in the lean rats (2.10 ± 1.55 pmol/mg). This decreased binding is probably not due to downregulation of receptors in the heterozygous rats, as they do not exhibit the hyperinsulinemia observed in the fatty rats. Rather, our findings suggest that there is a gene-related alteration in insulin binding in the Zucker rat, as low binding was observed in rats carrying either one (Fa/fa) or two (fa/fa) doses of the gene. We postulate that this central defect in insulin binding may contribute to inadequate perception of a central insulin feedback signal and to the hyperphagia observed in the obese rats.
ASJC Scopus subject areas