Time dependent effects of dexamethasone on serum insulin level and insulin receptors in rat liver and erythrocytes
General Physiology and Biophysics
The effects of glucocorticoid excess on regulation of insulin receptors were investigated in dexamethasone-treated rats. Glucocorticoid excess was produced by administration of dexamethasone (0.5 mg/100 g b.w.) 30 min, 4, 12, 18, 24, 42 or 70 h before experiments. This treatment caused time-dependent changes of glucose and insulin concentration in blood, as well as in amounts of specific insulin binding and insulin receptors of liver cells and erythrocytes. The time intervals in which
... one produced the increase in insulin concentration were accompanied with decrease in insulin binding to receptors in membranes of liver cells, while significant changes in insulin binding to receptors of erythrocytes were not observed under the same experimental conditions. The effect is maximal 18 and 42 h after dexamethasone treatment that increase insulin blood level by about 85% and 60%, respectively. Receptor analysis revealed that changes in specific binding of insulin could be due to significant changes in amount of binding sites on cell surface rather than to mild alteration in receptor affinity. These findings suggest that besides the changes in insulin level, the alterations in insulin receptor number and affinity may play a major role in the states of altered insulin sensitivity which accompany glucocorticoid excess.