Insulin detemir (DET) reduces glycemia comparably to other long-acting insulin formulations but causes less weight gain. Insulin signaling in the brain is catabolic, reducing food intake. We hypothesized that DET reduces weight gain, relative to other insulins, owing to increased transport into the central nervous system and/or increased catabolic action within the brain. Transport of DET and NPH insulin into the cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) was compared over several hours and after the administration of different doses peripherally in rats. DET and NPH had comparable saturable, receptor-mediated transport into the CSF. CSF insulin remained elevated significantly longer after intraperitoneal DET than after NPH. When administered acutely into the 3rd cerebral ventricle, both DET and NPH insulin reduced food intake and body weight at 24 h, and both food intake and body weight remained lower after DET than after NPH after 48 h. In direct comparison with another long-acting insulin, insulin glargine (GLAR), DET led to more prolonged increases in CSF insulin despite a shorter plasma half-life in both rats and mice. Additionally, peripheral DET administration reduced weight gain and increased CSF insulin compared with saline or GLAR in mice. Overall, these data support the hypothesis that DET has distinct effects on energy balance through enhanced and prolonged centrally mediated reduction of food intake.
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