Cover Story Current Issue

The year 2021 marks the 100th year of the discovery of insulin, one of the most important discoveries in the history of medical science—in terms of its lasting impact on hundreds of millions of people worldwide and in the development of medical science. This special issue of Molecular Metabolism takes us through the journey over this remarkable century and highlights several aspects of this discovery and its impact – both in diabetes and medical science – in a much broader way.

C. Ronald Kahn

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Current Issue

The brain as an insulin-sensitive metabolic organ

Joshua L. Milstein, Heather A. Ferris

Background

The brain was once thought of as an insulin-insensitive organ. We now know that the insulin receptor is present throughout the brain and serves important functions in whole-body metabolism and brain function. Brain insulin signaling is involved not only in brain homeostatic processes but also neuropathological processes such as cognitive decline and Alzheimer's disease.

Scope of review

In this review, we provide an overview of insulin signaling within the brain and the metabolic impact of brain insulin resistance and discuss Alzheimer's disease, one of the neurologic diseases most closely associated with brain insulin resistance.

Major conclusions

While brain insulin signaling plays only a small role in central nervous system glucose regulation, it has a significant impact on the brain's metabolic health. Normal insulin signaling is important for mitochondrial functioning and normal food intake. Brain insulin resistance contributes to obesity and may also play an important role in neurodegeneration.

The brain as an insulin-sensitive metabolic organ

Joshua L. Milstein, Heather A. Ferris

Background

The brain was once thought of as an insulin-insensitive organ. We now know that the insulin receptor is present throughout the brain and serves important functions in whole-body metabolism and brain function. Brain insulin signaling is involved not only in brain homeostatic processes but also neuropathological processes such as cognitive decline and Alzheimer's disease.

Scope of review

In this review, we provide an overview of insulin signaling within the brain and the metabolic impact of brain insulin resistance and discuss Alzheimer's disease, one of the neurologic diseases most closely associated with brain insulin resistance.

Major conclusions

While brain insulin signaling plays only a small role in central nervous system glucose regulation, it has a significant impact on the brain's metabolic health. Normal insulin signaling is important for mitochondrial functioning and normal food intake. Brain insulin resistance contributes to obesity and may also play an important role in neurodegeneration.

2020 impact factor: 7.4

The 60 Second Metabolist

In this section authors briefly report on their work recently published in Molecular Metabolism.

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