Insulin receptors in mouse brain: Age-related modifications are corrected by thymus graft

Annamaria Zaia, Lucio Piantanelli

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Recently, we have shown that insulin receptors (InsRs) in the brain undergo impairment with aging, as happens for other receptors such as α- and β-adrenoceptors. Age-related alterations of adrenoceptors, which are modulated by brain InsRs, are not definitive as they can be recovered by a thymus graft. In this study we verified the possibility that the thymus graft can also recover the age-dependent modifications of brain InsRs. InsR characteristics were assayed in a group of 27 months old Balb/c-nu mice grafted with a neonatal thymus, under renal capsule, one month before the animals were killed. Another two groups of young (3 months) and old (27 months) mice were used as controls. A two-sites model analysis of receptor data confirmed the age-dependent decrease of InsR density previously observed in the high affinity population. Furthermore, a statistically significant recovery of this impairment was shown in thymus grafted animals. The low affinity receptor subset also showed some differences among the three animal models however, they were not statistically significant. Thymus graft induced recovery of the age-related changes found in brain InsRs, together with the similar one observed on the adrenergic system, calls for deeper studies of their interaction and the role they can play on aging processes.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)37-46
Number of pages10
JournalMechanisms of Ageing and Development
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Oct 1997


  • Aging impairment reversibility
  • Brain insulin receptors
  • Endocrine thymus
  • Mouse

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ageing
  • Biochemistry
  • Developmental Biology
  • Developmental Neuroscience


Dive into the research topics of 'Insulin receptors in mouse brain: Age-related modifications are corrected by thymus graft'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this