Effects of intranasal insulin application on the hypothalamic BOLD response to glucose ingestion

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  • Anna M. van Opstal
  • Abimbola A. Akintola
  • Marjan van der Elst
  • Westendorp, Rudi GJ
  • Hanno Pijl
  • Diana van Heemst
  • Jeroen van der Grond

The hypothalamus is a crucial structure in the brain that responds to metabolic cues and regulates energy homeostasis. Patients with type 2 diabetes demonstrate a lack of hypothalamic neuronal response after glucose ingestion, which is suggested to be an underlying cause of the disease. In this study, we assessed whether intranasal insulin can be used to enhance neuronal hypothalamic responses to glucose ingestion. In a randomized, double-blinded, placebo-controlled 4-double cross-over experiment, hypothalamic activation was measured in young non- diabetic subjects by determining blood-oxygen-level dependent MRI signals over 30 minutes before and after ingestion of 75 g glucose dissolved in 300 ml water, under intranasal insulin or placebo condition. Glucose ingestion under placebo condition lead to an average 1.4% hypothalamic BOLD decrease, under insulin condition the average response to glucose was a 2.2% decrease. Administration of water did not affect the hypothalamic BOLD responses. Intranasal insulin did not change circulating glucose and insulin levels. Still, circulating glucose levels showed a significant dampening effect on the BOLD response and insulin levels a significant strengthening effect. Our data provide proof of concept for future experiments testing the potential of intranasal application of insulin to ameliorate defective homeostatic control in patients with type 2 diabetes.

Original languageEnglish
Article number13327
JournalScientific Reports
Pages (from-to)1-7
Number of pages7
Publication statusPublished - 17 Oct 2017

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  • Journal Article

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