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New publication in Journal of Neuroendocrinology

Congratulations to Prof Gareth Leng and Dr Luis Paiva (Centre for Discovery Brain Sciences) on their recent publication in the Journal of Endocrinology

Peripheral insulin administration enhances the electrical activity of oxytocin and vasopressin neurones in vivo.

Oxytocin neurones are involved in the regulation of energy balance through diverse central and peripheral actions and, in rats, they are potently activated by gavage of sweet substances.

Here, we test the hypothesis that this activation is mediated by the central actions of insulin. We show that, in urethane‐anaesthetised rats, oxytocin cells in the supraoptic nucleus show prolonged activation after i.v. injections of insulin, and that this response is greater in fasted rats than in non‐fasted rats. Vasopressin cells are also activated, although less consistently.

We also show that this activation of oxytocin cells is independent of changes in plasma glucose concentration, and is completely blocked by central (i.c.v.) administration of an insulin receptor antagonist.

Finally, we replicate the previously published finding that oxytocin cells are activated by gavage of sweetened condensed milk, and show that this response too is completely blocked by central administration of an insulin receptor antagonist.

We conclude that the response of oxytocin cells to gavage of sweetened condensed milk is mediated by the central actions of insulin.

View pdf paper from Journal of Neuroendocrinology