Microvascular effects of insulin in the skin

Sammanfattning: The microcirculation in the skin is essential for skin homeostasis. In instances of altered microvascular function, that may be the result of insulin resistance, tissue morbidity may ensue. The underlying mechanisms are however complex and not fully understood. By studying the physiological effects of insulin in the skin, the understanding of the complex interplay between glucose metabolism and skin microcirculation can be improved. The general aim of this thesis was to develop an experimental in vivo model to study metabolic and microvascular responses to insulin in the skin in healthy subjects. Microdialysis is a suiting technique as it allows for both local delivery of drugs and simultaneous monitoring of the local metabolic and vascular effects in the very same tissue compartment. The effects of local and systemic insulin provocation on skin blood flow and metabolism were investigated using microdialysis urea clearance and laser speckle contrast imaging (paper I). An insulin dependent increase in skin blood flow was observed, presumably induced through the nitric oxide pathway (paper II). Investigating the protein expression during an oral glucose provocation using proteomic approaches however indicates interactions with other pathways, such as the renin-angiotensin system and the kallikrein-kinin system (paper IV). Paper III also investigated methodological concerns regarding the sampling of insulin using microdialysis. This in vivo model can, in the future, be applied to assess the microvascular effects of insulin in the skin in different patient groups, including those with micro-vascular dysfunction due to, for instance, insulin resistance.  

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