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International Journal of Endocrinology
Volume 2015, Article ID 626019, 9 pages
Research Article

Role of the Insulin-Like Growth Factor Type 1 Receptor in the Pathogenesis of Diabetic Encephalopathy

1Department of Radiology, Affiliated Hospital of BeiHua University, JiLin 132011, China
2College of Basic Medical Sciences, Changchun University of Chinese Medicine, Changchun, Jilin 130117, China

Received 29 June 2014; Accepted 9 September 2014

Academic Editor: Ilias Migdalis

Copyright © 2015 Duo Zhang et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Defective cognitive function is common in patients with diabetes, suggesting that insulin normally exerts anabolic actions in neuron, namely, diabetic encephalopathy. However, because insulin can cross-activate the insulin-like growth factor type 1 receptor (IGF-1R), which also functions in most of tissues, such as muscle and bone, it has been difficult to establish the direct (IGF-1-independent) actions of insulin in the pathogenesis of diabetic encephalopathy. To overcome this problem, we examined insulin signaling and action in primary PC-12 cells engineered for conditional disruption of the IGF-1 receptor (ΔIGF-1R). The results showed that the lower glucose metabolism and high expression of IGF-1R occurred in the brain of the DE rat model. The results also showed the defect of IGF-1R could significantly improve the ability of glucose consumption and enhance sensitivity to insulin-induced IR and Akt phosphorylation in PC12 cells. And meanwhile, IGF-1R allele gene knockout (IGF-1Rneo) mice treated with HFD/STZ had better cognitive abilities than those of wild mice. Those results indicate that insulin exerts direct anabolic actions in neuron-like cells by activation of its cognate receptor and prove that IGF-1R plays an important role in the pathogenesis of diabetic encephalopathy.