Effects of insulin-induced hypoglycemia on cerebrovascular permeability to horseradish peroxidase

Journal of Neuropathology and Experimental Neurology
D W Hsu, E T Hedley-Whyte


The effects of hypoglycemia on cerebrovascular permeability to a protein, horseradish peroxidase (HRP), were studied in mice given 3 or 8 units of crytalline zinc insulin intraperitoneally. HRP (10 mg in 0.1 ml saline) was injected intravenously 15 to 20 minutes prior to sacrifice. Both mildly and severely hypoglycemic groups of mice showed a drastic reduction in the normal transit of HRP across cerebral arterioles. The number of normally-stained vessel segments and of HRP-filled endothelial vesicles decreased in insulin-treated mice. In the brains of severely hypoglycemic mice, however, increased parenchymal HRP accumulation occurred. A ruptured blood vessel was found in the center of one-fourth of the focal exudates examined. Electron microscopic examination revealed thrombin, sometimes extending through the vessel wall, and hemorrhage, yet inter-endothelial tight junctions remained intact. Seizures were associated with severe hypoglycemia in 6 out of 10 mice with serum glucose levels below 40 mg/100 ml following 8 units of insulin, but the number of focal exudates per brain was similar in all 10 mice. We conclude that insulin-induced hypoglycemia is associated with decreased HRP transit across cerebral arterioles, and that s...Continue Reading

Related Concepts

Structure of Arteriole
Blood Glucose
Blood - Brain Barrier Anatomy
Vascular Permeability
Cerebral Hemorrhage
Reactive Hypoglycemia
Insulin B Chain

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