Recent advance in molecular biology revealed new insights into the function of insulin receptor signaling and insulin receptor substrate (IRS) protein mediated signals in the central nervous system (CNS) in vivo. The IRS proteins mediate mainly intracellular effects of the insulin-like growth factor-1 receptor (IGF-1R) and the insulin receptor (IR). The functions of IRS proteins in peripheral tissues like muscle, liver, pancreas and fat have been characterized in detail. This book examines why IRS signaling is not only critical during brain development, but also for reproduction, energy homeostasis, aging and possibly for neurodegenerative diseases in humans.
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