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NORMAL ACTIONS OF INSULIN

 

Insulin is a pleiotropic hormone that exerts a multitude of effects on metabolism and various cellular processes in different tissues and organs of the body.

The main metabolic actions of insulin are to stimulate glucose uptake in skeletal muscle and the heart and  to suppress the production of glucose and very-low-density lipoprotein (VLDL) in the liver.

Other metabolic effects include inhibition of glucose release from the liver, inhibition of the release of free fatty acids (FFAs) from adipose tissue, and stimulation of the process by which amino acids are incorporated into protein.

Some of the actions of insulin can be considered antiatherogenic.

For example, in blood vessels, insulin increases the production of nitric oxide (NO), which has a vasodilatory effect.

Insulin also inhibits platelet aggregation and type-1 plasminogen activator inhibitor (PAI-1).

Insulin has been hypothesized to be a growth factor that stimulates vascular cell growth and synthesis of matrix proteins.

 

KEY POINT

The main metabolic actions of insulin are to stimulate glucose uptake in skeletal muscle and the heart and to suppress  the production of glucose and VLDL in the liver.

 

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