Identification of Insulin Receptor Splice Variant B in Neurons by in situ Detection in Human Brain Samples

Sci Rep. 2018 Mar 6;8(1):4070. doi: 10.1038/s41598-018-22434-2.


Insulin and its receptor are widely expressed in a variety of tissues throughout the body including liver, adipose tissue, liver and brain. The insulin receptor is expressed as two functionally distinct isoforms, differentiated by a single 12 amino acid exon. The two receptor isoforms, designated IR/A and IR/B, are expressed in a highly tissue and cell specific manner and relative proportions of the different isoforms vary during development, aging and disease states. The high degree of similarity between the two isoforms has prevented detailed studies as differentiation of the two isoforms by traditional immunological methods cannot be achieved. We describe here a new in situ RT-PCR/ FISH assay that allows for the visualization of IR/A and IR/B in tissue along with tissue specific markers. We used this new method to show for the first time that IR/A and IR/B are both expressed in neurons in the adult human brain. Thus, we present a method that enables the investigation of IR/A and IR/B insulin receptor isoform expression in situ in various tissues.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Antigens, CD / biosynthesis*
  • Antigens, CD / genetics
  • Frontal Lobe / chemistry*
  • Humans
  • In Situ Hybridization, Fluorescence
  • Neurons / chemistry*
  • Protein Isoforms / biosynthesis*
  • Protein Isoforms / genetics
  • RNA, Messenger / analysis*
  • Real-Time Polymerase Chain Reaction
  • Receptor, Insulin / biosynthesis*
  • Receptor, Insulin / genetics


  • Antigens, CD
  • Protein Isoforms
  • RNA, Messenger
  • INSR protein, human
  • Receptor, Insulin