Agnieszka Baranowska-Bik* and Wojciech Bik Pages 465 - 475 ( 11 )
Insulin was discovered in 1922 by Banting and Best. Since that time, extensive research on the mechanisms of insulin activity and action has continued. Currently, it is known that the role of insulin is much greater than simply regulating carbohydrate metabolism. Insulin in physiological concentration is also necessary to maintain normal vascular function. Insulin resistance is defined as a pathological condition characterized by reduced sensitivity of skeletal muscles, liver, and adipose tissue, to insulin and its downstream metabolic effects under normal serum glucose concentrations. There are also selective forms of insulin resistance with unique features, including vascular insulin resistance. Insulin resistance, both classical and vascular, contributes to vascular impairment resulting in increased risk of cardiovascular disease. Furthermore, in the elderly population, additional factors including redistribution of fat concentrations, low-grade inflammation, and decreased self-repair capacity [or cell senescence] amplify the vascular abnormalities related to insulin resistance.
Insulin, insulin resistance, cardiovascular disease, vascular dysfunction, aging, DM.
Department of Endocrinology, Centre of Postgraduate Medical Education, Warsaw, Department of Neuroendocrinology, Centre of Postgraduate Medical Education, Warsaw