Insulin regulation of amino acid transport across the cell membrane was studied in a variety of mesenchymal cell directly isolated from avian and mammalian tissues or collected from confluent cultures. Transport activity of the principal systems of mediation in the presence and absence of insulin was evaluated by measuring the uptake of representative amino acids under conditions approaching initial entry rates. Insulin enhanced the transport rate of substrate amino acids from the A system(α-aminoisobutyric acid, L-proline, glycine, L-alanine and L-serine) in fibroblasts and osteoblasts from chick-embryo tissues, in mesenchymal cells (fibroblasts and smooth muscle cells) from immature rat uterus, in thymic lymphocytes from young rats and in chick-embryo fibroblasts from confluent secondary cultures. In these tissues, the uptake of amino acid substrates of transport systems L and Ly+ (L-leucine, L-phenylalanine, L-lysine) was not affected by the presence of the hormone. No insulin control of amino acid transport was detected in chick-embryo chondroblasts and rat peritoneal macrophages. These observations identify the occurrence of hormonal regulatory patterns of amino acid transport for different mesenchymal cells types and indicate that these properties emerge early during cell differentiation.
1. Isolated chick embryo heart cells were used to investigate the mode of action of insulin on the transport of three naturally occurring amino acids: l -proline, l -serine and glycine. Initial velocities of uptake were measured over a period of 5min with an 80-fold range of amino acid concentration. Corrections for amino acid diffusion, incorporation into protein and conversion into carbon dioxide were introduced. 2. The uptake processes approximated Michaelis–Menten kinetics within definite ranges of amino acid concentrations. A single transport system for proline and at least two transport systems for serine and glycine were detected. 3. The kinetic effects of insulin on transport systems for the amino acids tested were consistent with an acceleration of the maximal velocity of the process, without substantial changes in substrate concentration for half-maximal transport velocity. 4. These hormonal effects were not essentially altered by the corrections for amino acid incorporation into protein and conversion into carbon dioxide.