Insulin analogues display atypical differentiative activities in skin keratinocytes

Ravid Solomon Zemler, Galina Weingarten, Rive Sarfstein, Zvi Laron, Haim Werner, Efrat Wertheimer*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: We have previously shown that both insulin and IGF1 lead to increased proliferation of keratinocytes. However, whereas insulin supports keratinocytes differentiation, IGF1 inhibits this process. The aim of the present study was to examine the proliferative and differentiative effects of insulin analogues (glargine, detemir, lispro and aspart) in primary keratinocytes in comparison with insulin and IGF1. Methods: Primary keratinocytes cultures were produced from newborn BALB/c mice skin. Proliferation rates were assessed by [3H]-thymidine incorporation and XTT assays and differentiation was evaluated by Western blots analysis. Insulin receptor and IGF1 receptor phosphorylation was assessed by immunoprecipitation assays. Results: Treatment with glargine or detemir resulted in an insulin-like effect on the differentiation process whereas lispro and aspart treatment led to an IGF1-like effect. In addition, treatment of keratinocytes with aspart led to a rapid phosphorylation of the IGF1 receptor. Conclusions: Our study provides evidence that insulin analogues elicit atypical actions in the skin.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)32-39
Number of pages8
JournalArchives of Physiology and Biochemistry
Issue number1
StatePublished - 1 Feb 2015


  • Differentiation
  • Insulin
  • Insulin-like growth factor-1 (IGF1)
  • Keratinocytes
  • Proliferation


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