Insulin-like immunoreactivity (IRI) was de tected in the rat hypothalamus, particularly in the paraventric-ular, periventricular, supraoptic, suprachiasmatic, arcuate, and lateral hypothalamic nuclei. The immunostainable IRI was diffusely distributed in comparison to the neuronal concentrations of immunostainable vasopressin in the periventricular nucleus, or of IRI in islet B cells, suggesting that immunostainable IRI in the hypothalamus is not concentrated in neuronal perikarya.To determine if insulin in cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) may be a source of some insulin in brain tissue, [125I]iodoinsulin was stereotaxically injected into a lateral cerebral ventricle, and the uptake of radioactivity into periventricular hypothalamus was localized by both quantitative autoradiography of paraffin-embedded brain sections and by measuring the radioactivity present in microdissected brain regions. In brains that received lateral ventricular injections of labeled insulin, the concentration of radioactivity in the periventricular region of the hypothalamus, as revealedby autoradiographic grains, was significantly greater than that in the periventricular region of brains that received lateral ventricular injections of labeled insulin mixed with an equimolar excess of an unlabeled peptide (insulin, ribonuclease, or both together). The highest levels of radioactivity detected in both autoradiographic and microdissection procedureswere in regions nearest to the third ventricle, suggesting that insulin in the lateral ventricles has access to the periventricular neuropile in the hypothalamus. The staining pattern of immunostainable insulin in the hypothalamus along with the distribution of radioactivity after CSF injection of labeled insulin are consistent with the hypothesis that insulin is taken up into brain from the CSF.
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