Nistico R.,IRCCS Santa Lucia Foundation |
Nistico R.,University of Calabria |
Cavallucci V.,IRCCS Santa Lucia Foundation |
Piccinin S.,IRCCS Santa Lucia Foundation |
And 12 more authors.
NeuroMolecular Medicine | Year: 2012
The insulin receptor (IR) is a protein tyrosine kinase playing a pivotal role in the regulation of peripheral glucose metabolism and energy homoeostasis. IRs are also abundantly distributed in the cerebral cortex and hippocampus, where they regulate synaptic activity required for learning and memory. As the major anabolic hormone in mammals, insulin stimulates protein synthesis partially through the activation of the PI3K/Akt/mTOR pathway, playing fundamental roles in neuronal development, synaptic plasticity and memory. Here, by means of a multidisciplinary approach, we report that long-term synaptic plasticity and recognition memory are impaired in IR β-subunit heterozygous mice. Since IR expression is diminished in type-2 diabetes as well as in Alzheimer's disease (AD) patients, these data may provide a mechanistic link between insulin resistance, impaired synaptic transmission and cognitive decline in humans with metabolic disorders. © Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2012.