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1.  TXNIP Regulates Peripheral Glucose Metabolism in Humans  
PLoS Medicine  2007;4(5):e158.
Background
Type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM) is characterized by defects in insulin secretion and action. Impaired glucose uptake in skeletal muscle is believed to be one of the earliest features in the natural history of T2DM, although underlying mechanisms remain obscure.
Methods and Findings
We combined human insulin/glucose clamp physiological studies with genome-wide expression profiling to identify thioredoxin interacting protein (TXNIP) as a gene whose expression is powerfully suppressed by insulin yet stimulated by glucose. In healthy individuals, its expression was inversely correlated to total body measures of glucose uptake. Forced expression of TXNIP in cultured adipocytes significantly reduced glucose uptake, while silencing with RNA interference in adipocytes and in skeletal muscle enhanced glucose uptake, confirming that the gene product is also a regulator of glucose uptake. TXNIP expression is consistently elevated in the muscle of prediabetics and diabetics, although in a panel of 4,450 Scandinavian individuals, we found no evidence for association between common genetic variation in the TXNIP gene and T2DM.
Conclusions
TXNIP regulates both insulin-dependent and insulin-independent pathways of glucose uptake in human skeletal muscle. Combined with recent studies that have implicated TXNIP in pancreatic β-cell glucose toxicity, our data suggest that TXNIP might play a key role in defective glucose homeostasis preceding overt T2DM.
Vamsi Mootha, Leif Groop, and colleagues report that TXNIP regulates insulin-dependent and -independent pathways of glucose uptake in human skeletal muscle and that its expression is elevated in individuals with prediabetes and type 2 diabetes.
Editors' Summary
Background.
An epidemic of diabetes mellitus is threatening world health. 246 million people (6% of the world's population) already have diabetes and it is estimated that within 20 years, 380 million people will have this chronic disease, most of them in developing countries. Diabetes is characterized by high blood sugar (glucose) levels. It arises when the pancreas does not make enough insulin (type 1 diabetes) or when the body responds poorly to insulin (type 2 diabetes). Insulin, which is released in response to high blood glucose levels, instructs muscle, fat, and liver cells to take glucose (a product of food digestion) out of the bloodstream; cells use glucose as a fuel. Type 2 diabetes, which accounts for 90% of all cases of diabetes, is characterized by impaired glucose uptake by target tissues in response to insulin (this “insulin resistance” is one of the first signs of type 2 diabetes) and inappropriate glucose release from liver cells. Over time, the pancreas may also make less insulin. These changes result in poor glucose homeostasis (inadequate control of blood sugar levels), which can cause life-threatening complications such as kidney failure and heart attacks.
Why Was This Study Done?
If the world diabetes epidemic is to be halted, researchers need a better understanding of glucose homeostasis and need to identify which parts of this complex control system go awry in type 2 diabetes. This information might suggest ways to prevent type 2 diabetes developing in the first place and might reveal targets for drugs that could slow or reverse the disease process. In this study, the researchers have used multiple approaches to identify a new mediator of glucose homeostasis and to investigate whether this mediator is causally involved in the development of type 2 diabetes.
What Did the Researchers Do and Find?
The researchers took small muscle samples from people who did not have diabetes before and after increasing their blood insulin levels and used a technique called “microarray expression profiling” to identify genes whose expression was induced or suppressed by insulin. One of the latter genes was thioredoxin interacting protein (TXNIP), a gene whose expression is strongly induced by glucose yet suppressed by insulin. They next used previously published microarray expression data to show that TXNIP expression was consistently higher in the muscles of patients with diabetes or prediabetes (a condition in which blood glucose levels are slightly raised) than in normal individuals. The researchers then examined whether TXNIP expression was correlated with glucose uptake, again using previously published data. In people with no diabetes and those with prediabetes, as glucose uptake rates increased, TXNIP expression decreased but this inverse correlation was missing in people with diabetes. Finally, by manipulating TXNIP expression levels in insulin-responsive cells grown in the laboratory, the researchers found that TXNIP overexpression reduced basal and insulin-stimulated glucose uptake but that reduced TXNIP expression had the opposite effect.
What Do These Findings Mean?
These results provide strong evidence that TXNIP is a regulator of glucose homeostasis in people. Specifically, the researchers propose that TXNIP regulates glucose uptake in the periphery of the human body by acting as a glucose- and insulin-sensitive switch. They also suggest how it might be involved in the development of type 2 diabetes. Early in the disease process, a small insulin deficiency or slightly raised blood sugar levels would increase TXNIP expression in muscles and suppress glucose uptake by these cells. Initially, the pancreas would compensate for this by producing more insulin, but this compensation would eventually fail, allowing blood sugar levels to rise sufficiently to increase TXNIP expression in the pancreas. Previously published results suggest that this would induce the loss of insulin-producing cells in the pancreas, thus further reducing insulin production and glucose uptake in the periphery and, ultimately, resulting in type 2 diabetes. Although there are many unanswered questions about the exact role of TXNIP in glucose homeostasis, these results help to explain many of the changes in glucose control that occur early in the development of diabetes. Furthermore, they suggest that interventions designed to modulate the activity of TXNIP might break the vicious cycle that eventually leads to type 2 diabetes.
Additional Information.
Please access these Web sites via the online version of this summary at http://dx.doi.org/10.1371/journal.pmed.0040158.
The MedlinePlus encyclopedia has pages on diabetes
The US National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases has information for patients on diabetes
Information on diabetes is available for patients and professionals from the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
The American Diabetes Association provides information on diabetes for patients
International Diabetes Federation has information on diabetes and a recent press release on the global diabetes epidemic
doi:10.1371/journal.pmed.0040158
PMCID: PMC1858708  PMID: 17472435
2.  Muscle Mitochondrial ATP Synthesis and Glucose Transport/Phosphorylation in Type 2 Diabetes 
PLoS Medicine  2007;4(5):e154.
Background
Muscular insulin resistance is frequently characterized by blunted increases in glucose-6-phosphate (G-6-P) reflecting impaired glucose transport/phosphorylation. These abnormalities likely relate to excessive intramyocellular lipids and mitochondrial dysfunction. We hypothesized that alterations in insulin action and mitochondrial function should be present even in nonobese patients with well-controlled type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM).
Methods and Findings
We measured G-6-P, ATP synthetic flux (i.e., synthesis) and lipid contents of skeletal muscle with 31P/1H magnetic resonance spectroscopy in ten patients with T2DM and in two control groups: ten sex-, age-, and body mass-matched elderly people; and 11 younger healthy individuals. Although insulin sensitivity was lower in patients with T2DM, muscle lipid contents were comparable and hyperinsulinemia increased G-6-P by 50% (95% confidence interval [CI] 39%–99%) in all groups. Patients with diabetes had 27% lower fasting ATP synthetic flux compared to younger controls (p = 0.031). Insulin stimulation increased ATP synthetic flux only in controls (younger: 26%, 95% CI 13%–42%; older: 11%, 95% CI 2%–25%), but failed to increase even during hyperglycemic hyperinsulinemia in patients with T2DM. Fasting free fatty acids and waist-to-hip ratios explained 44% of basal ATP synthetic flux. Insulin sensitivity explained 30% of insulin-stimulated ATP synthetic flux.
Conclusions
Patients with well-controlled T2DM feature slightly lower flux through muscle ATP synthesis, which occurs independently of glucose transport /phosphorylation and lipid deposition but is determined by lipid availability and insulin sensitivity. Furthermore, the reduction in insulin-stimulated glucose disposal despite normal glucose transport/phosphorylation suggests further abnormalities mainly in glycogen synthesis in these patients.
Michael Roden and colleagues report that even patients with well-controlled insulin-resistant type 2 diabetes have altered mitochondrial function.
Editors' Summary
Background.
Diabetes mellitus is an increasingly common chronic disease characterized by high blood sugar (glucose) levels. In normal individuals, blood sugar levels are maintained by the hormone insulin. Insulin is released by the pancreas when blood glucose levels rise after eating (glucose is produced by the digestion of food) and “instructs” insulin-responsive muscle and fat cells to take up glucose from the bloodstream. The cells then use glucose as a fuel or convert it into glycogen, a storage form of glucose. In type 2 diabetes, the commonest type of diabetes, the muscle and fat cells become nonresponsive to insulin (a condition called insulin resistance) and consequently blood glucose levels rise. Over time, this hyperglycemia increases the risk of heart attacks, kidney failure, and other life-threatening complications.
Why Was This Study Done?
Insulin resistance is often an early sign of type 2 diabetes, sometimes predating its development by many years, so understanding its causes might provide clues about how to stop the global diabetes epidemic. One theory is that mitochondria—cellular structures that produce the energy (in the form of a molecule called ATP) needed to keep cells functioning—do not work properly in people with insulin resistance. Mitochondria change (metabolize) fatty acids into energy, and recent studies have revealed that fat accumulation caused by poorly regulated fatty acid metabolism blocks insulin signaling, thus causing insulin resistance. Other studies using magnetic resonance spectroscopy (MRS) to study mitochondrial function noninvasively in human muscle indicate that mitochondria are dysfunctional in people with insulin resistance by showing that ATP synthesis is impaired in such individuals. In this study, the researchers have examined both baseline and insulin-stimulated mitochondrial function in nonobese patients with well-controlled type 2 diabetes and in normal controls to discover more about the relationship between mitochondrial dysfunction and insulin resistance.
What Did the Researchers Do and Find?
The researchers determined the insulin sensitivity of people with type 2 diabetes and two sets of people (the “controls”) who did not have diabetes: one in which the volunteers were age-matched to the people with diabetes, and the other containing younger individuals (insulin resistance increases with age). To study insulin sensitivity in all three groups, the researchers used a “hyperinsulinemic–euglycemic clamp.” For this, after an overnight fast, the participants' insulin levels were kept high with a continuous insulin infusion while blood glucose levels were kept normal using a variable glucose infusion. In this situation, the glucose infusion rate equals glucose uptake by the body and therefore measures tissue sensitivity to insulin. Before and during the clamp, the researchers used MRS to measure glucose-6-phosphate (an indicator of how effectively glucose is taken into cells and phosphorylated), ATP synthesis, and the fat content of the participants' muscle cells. Insulin sensitivity was lower in the patients with diabetes than in the controls, but muscle lipid content was comparable and hyperinsulinemia increased glucose-6-phosphate levels similarly in all the groups. Patients with diabetes and the older controls had lower fasting ATP synthesis rates than the young controls and, whereas insulin stimulation increased ATP synthesis in all the controls, it had no effect in the patients with diabetes. In addition, fasting blood fatty acid levels were inversely related to basal ATP synthesis, whereas insulin sensitivity was directly related to insulin-stimulated ATP synthesis.
What Do These Findings Mean?
These findings indicate that the impairment of muscle mitochondrial ATP synthesis in fasting conditions and after insulin stimulation in people with diabetes is not due to impaired glucose transport/phosphorylation or fat deposition in the muscles. Instead, it seems to be determined by lipid availability and insulin sensitivity. These results add to the evidence suggesting that mitochondrial function is disrupted in type 2 diabetes and in insulin resistance, but also suggest that there may be abnormalities in glycogen synthesis. More work is needed to determine the exact nature of these abnormalities and to discover whether they can be modulated to prevent the development of insulin resistance and type 2 diabetes. For now, though, these findings re-emphasize the need for people with type 2 diabetes or insulin resistance to reduce their food intake to compensate for the reduced energy needs of their muscles and to exercise to increase the ATP-generating capacity of their muscles. Both lifestyle changes could improve their overall health and life expectancy.
Additional Information.
Please access these Web sites via the online version of this summary at http://dx.doi.org/10.1371/journal.pmed.0040154.
The MedlinePlus encyclopedia has pages on diabetes
The US National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases provides information for patients on diabetes and insulin resistance
The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has information on diabetes for patients and professionals
American Diabetes Association provides information for patients on diabetes and insulin resistance
Diabetes UK has information for patients and professionals on diabetes
doi:10.1371/journal.pmed.0040154
PMCID: PMC1858707  PMID: 17472434
3.  PKC-θ knockout mice are protected from fat-induced insulin resistance 
Journal of Clinical Investigation  2004;114(6):823-827.
Insulin resistance plays a primary role in the development of type 2 diabetes and may be related to alterations in fat metabolism. Recent studies have suggested that local accumulation of fat metabolites inside skeletal muscle may activate a serine kinase cascade involving protein kinase C–θ (PKC-θ), leading to defects in insulin signaling and glucose transport in skeletal muscle. To test this hypothesis, we examined whether mice with inactivation of PKC-θ are protected from fat-induced insulin resistance in skeletal muscle. Skeletal muscle and hepatic insulin action as assessed during hyperinsulinemic-euglycemic clamps did not differ between WT and PKC-θ KO mice following saline infusion. A 5-hour lipid infusion decreased insulin-stimulated skeletal muscle glucose uptake in the WT mice that was associated with 40–50% decreases in insulin-stimulated tyrosine phosphorylation of insulin receptor substrate–1 (IRS-1) and IRS-1–associated PI3K activity. In contrast, PKC-θ inactivation prevented fat-induced defects in insulin signaling and glucose transport in skeletal muscle. In conclusion, our findings demonstrate that PKC-θ is a crucial component mediating fat-induced insulin resistance in skeletal muscle and suggest that PKC-θ is a potential therapeutic target for the treatment of type 2 diabetes.
doi:10.1172/JCI200422230
PMCID: PMC516267  PMID: 15372106
4.  Evidence for defects in the trafficking and translocation of GLUT4 glucose transporters in skeletal muscle as a cause of human insulin resistance. 
Journal of Clinical Investigation  1998;101(11):2377-2386.
Insulin resistance is instrumental in the pathogenesis of type 2 diabetes mellitus and the Insulin Resistance Syndrome. While insulin resistance involves decreased glucose transport activity in skeletal muscle, its molecular basis is unknown. Since muscle GLUT4 glucose transporter levels are normal in type 2 diabetes, we have tested the hypothesis that insulin resistance is due to impaired translocation of intracellular GLUT4 to sarcolemma. Both insulin-sensitive and insulin-resistant nondiabetic subgroups were studied, in addition to type 2 diabetic patients. Biopsies were obtained from basal and insulin-stimulated muscle, and membranes were subfractionated on discontinuous sucrose density gradients to equilibrium or under nonequilibrium conditions after a shortened centrifugation time. In equilibrium fractions from basal muscle, GLUT4 was decreased by 25-29% in both 25 and 28% sucrose density fractions and increased twofold in both the 32% sucrose fraction and bottom pellet in diabetics compared with insulin-sensitive controls, without any differences in membrane markers (phospholemman, phosphalamban, dihydropyridine-binding complex alpha-1 subunit). Thus, insulin resistance was associated with redistribution of GLUT4 to denser membrane vesicles. No effects of insulin stimulation on GLUT4 localization were observed. In non-equilibrium fractions, insulin led to small GLUT4 decrements in the 25 and 28% sucrose fractions and increased GLUT4 in the 32% sucrose fraction by 2.8-fold over basal in insulin-sensitive but only by 1.5-fold in both insulin-resistant and diabetic subgroups. The GLUT4 increments in the 32% sucrose fraction were correlated with maximal in vivo glucose disposal rates (r = +0.51, P = 0.026), and, therefore, represented GLUT4 recruitment to sarcolemma or a quantitative marker for this process. Similar to GLUT4, the insulin-regulated aminopeptidase (vp165) was redistributed to a dense membrane compartment and did not translocate in response to insulin in insulin-resistant subgroups. In conclusion, insulin alters the subcellular localization of GLUT4 vesicles in human muscle, and this effect is impaired equally in insulin-resistant subjects with and without diabetes. This translocation defect is associated with abnormal accumulation of GLUT4 in a dense membrane compartment demonstrable in basal muscle. We have previously observed a similar pattern of defects causing insulin resistance in human adipocytes. Based on these data, we propose that human insulin resistance involves a defect in GLUT4 traffic and targeting leading to accumulation in a dense membrane compartment from which insulin is unable to recruit GLUT4 to the cell surface.
PMCID: PMC508827  PMID: 9616209
5.  Altered Skeletal Muscle Lipase Expression and Activity Contribute to Insulin Resistance in Humans 
Diabetes  2011;60(6):1734-1742.
OBJECTIVE
Insulin resistance is associated with elevated content of skeletal muscle lipids, including triacylglycerols (TAGs) and diacylglycerols (DAGs). DAGs are by-products of lipolysis consecutive to TAG hydrolysis by adipose triglyceride lipase (ATGL) and are subsequently hydrolyzed by hormone-sensitive lipase (HSL). We hypothesized that an imbalance of ATGL relative to HSL (expression or activity) may contribute to DAG accumulation and insulin resistance.
RESEARCH DESIGN AND METHODS
We first measured lipase expression in vastus lateralis biopsies of young lean (n = 9), young obese (n = 9), and obese-matched type 2 diabetic (n = 8) subjects. We next investigated in vitro in human primary myotubes the impact of altered lipase expression/activity on lipid content and insulin signaling.
RESULTS
Muscle ATGL protein was negatively associated with whole-body insulin sensitivity in our population (r = −0.55, P = 0.005), whereas muscle HSL protein was reduced in obese subjects. We next showed that adenovirus-mediated ATGL overexpression in human primary myotubes induced DAG and ceramide accumulation. ATGL overexpression reduced insulin-stimulated glycogen synthesis (−30%, P < 0.05) and disrupted insulin signaling at Ser1101 of the insulin receptor substrate-1 and downstream Akt activation at Ser473. These defects were fully rescued by nonselective protein kinase C inhibition or concomitant HSL overexpression to restore a proper lipolytic balance. We show that selective HSL inhibition induces DAG accumulation and insulin resistance.
CONCLUSIONS
Altogether, the data indicate that altered ATGL and HSL expression in skeletal muscle could promote DAG accumulation and disrupt insulin signaling and action. Targeting skeletal muscle lipases may constitute an interesting strategy to improve insulin sensitivity in obesity and type 2 diabetes.
doi:10.2337/db10-1364
PMCID: PMC3114384  PMID: 21498783
6.  Dual Role of Interleukin-6 in Regulating Insulin Sensitivity in Murine Skeletal Muscle 
Diabetes  2008;57(12):3211-3221.
OBJECTIVE—Cytokines are elevated in various insulin-resistant states, including type 2 diabetes and obesity, although the contribution of interleukin-6 (IL-6) in the induction of these diseases is controversial.
RESEARCH DESIGN AND METHODS—We analyzed the impact of IL-6 on insulin action in murine primary myocytes, skeletal muscle cell lines, and mice (wild type and protein-tyrosine phosphatase 1B [PTP1B] deficient).
RESULTS—IL-6 per se increased glucose uptake by activating serine/threonine protein kinase 11 (LKB1)/AMP-activated protein kinase/protein kinase B substrate of 160 kDa (AS160) pathway. A dual effect on insulin action was observed when myotubes and mice were exposed to this cytokine: additive with short-term insulin (increased glucose uptake and systemic insulin sensitivity) but chronic exposure produced insulin resistance (impaired GLUT4 translocation to plasma membrane and defects in insulin signaling at the insulin receptor substrate 1 [IRS-1] level). Three mechanisms seem to operate in IL-6–induced insulin resistance: activation of c-Jun NH2-terminal kinase 1/2 (JNK1/2), accumulation of suppressor of cytokine signaling 3 (socs3) mRNA, and an increase in PTP1B activity. Accordingly, silencing JNK1/2 with either small interfering RNA or chemical inhibitors impaired phosphorylation of IRS-1 (Ser307), restored insulin signaling, and normalized insulin-induced glucose uptake in myotubes. When using a pharmacological approach, liver X receptor agonists overcome IL-6–induced insulin resistance by producing downregulation of socs3 and ptp1b gene expression. Finally, the lack of PTP1B confers protection against IL-6–induced insulin resistance in skeletal muscle in vitro and in vivo, in agreement with the protection against the IL-6 hyperglycemic effect observed on glucose and insulin tolerance tests in adult male mice.
CONCLUSIONS—These findings indicate the important role of IL-6 in the pathogenesis of insulin resistance and further implicate PTP1B as a potential therapeutic target in the treatment of type 2 diabetes.
doi:10.2337/db07-1062
PMCID: PMC2584126  PMID: 18796617
7.  Defects in TLR3 expression and RNase L activation lead to decreased MnSOD expression and insulin resistance in muscle cells of obese people 
Cell Death & Disease  2014;5(3):e1136-.
Obesity is associated with chronic low-grade inflammation and oxidative stress that blunt insulin response in its target tissues, leading to insulin resistance (IR). IR is a characteristic feature of type 2 diabetes. Skeletal muscle is responsible for 75% of total insulin-dependent glucose uptake; consequently, skeletal muscle IR is considered to be the primary defect of systemic IR development. Interestingly, some obese people stay insulin-sensitive and metabolically healthy. With the aim of understanding this difference and identifying the mechanisms responsible for insulin sensitivity maintenance/IR development during obesity, we explored the role of the latent endoribonuclease (RNase L) in skeletal muscle cells. RNase L is a regulator of innate immunity, of double-stranded RNA sensors and of toll-like receptor (TLR) 4 signaling. It is regulated during inflammation by interferons and its activity is dependent on its binding to 2-5A, an oligoadenylate synthesized by oligoadenylate synthetases (OAS). Increased expression of RNase L or downregulation of its inhibitor (RLI) improved insulin response in mouse myogenic C2C12 cells and in primary human myotubes from normal-weight subjects treated with palmitate, a saturated free fatty acid (FFA) known to induce inflammation and oxidative stress via TLR4 activation. While RNase L and RLI levels remained unchanged, OAS level was decreased in primary myotubes from insulin-resistant obese subjects (OB-IR) compared with myotubes from insulin-sensitive obese subjects (OB-IS). TLR3 and mitochondrial manganese superoxide dismutase (MnSOD) were also underexpressed in OB-IR myotubes. Activation of RNase L by 2-5A transfection allowed to restore insulin response, OAS, MnSOD and TLR3 expression in OB-IR myotubes. Due to low expression of OAS, OB-IR myotubes present a defect in RNase L activation and TLR3 regulation. Consequently, MnSOD level is low and insulin sensitivity is reduced. These results support that RNase L activity limits FFA/obesity-induced impairment of insulin response in muscle cells via TLR3 and MnSOD expression.
doi:10.1038/cddis.2014.104
PMCID: PMC3973244  PMID: 24651439
obesity; insulin response; latent endoribonuclease; inflammation; manganese superoxide dismutase; toll-like receptor 3
8.  Etiology of Insulin Resistance 
The American journal of medicine  2006;119(5 Suppl 1):S10-S16.
Type 2 diabetes mellitus is a major cause of morbidity and mortality worldwide, and the prevalence is set to increase dramatically over the coming decades. Understanding the metabolic pathways that lead to type 2 diabetes is therefore an important healthcare objective. Novel investigational techniques based on magnetic resonance spectroscopy (MRS) have allowed real-time insight into the molecular defects in patients with type 2 diabetes, revealing that insulin resistance is a product of decreased insulin-stimulated skeletal muscle glycogen synthesis, which can mostly be attributed to decreased insulin-stimulated glucose transport (Glut 4) activity. This defect appears to be a result of intracellular lipid-induced inhibition of insulin-stimulated insulin-receptor substrate (IRS)–1 tyrosine phosphorylation resulting in reduced IRS-1–associated phosphatidyl inositol 3 kinase activity. The hypothesis that insulin resistance is a result of accumulation of intracellular lipid metabolites (e.g., fatty acyl CoAs, diacylglycerol) in skeletal muscle and hepatocytes is supported by observations in patients and mouse models of lipodystrophy. Furthermore, the increase in hepatic insulin sensitivity observed in patients with type 2 diabetes following weight loss is also accompanied by a significant reduction in intrahepatic fat without any changes in circulating adipocytokines (interleukin-6, resistin, leptin). Finally, recent MRS studies in healthy, lean, elderly subjects and lean insulin-resistant offspring of parents with type 2 diabetes have demonstrated that reduced mitochondrial activity may also lead to increased intramyocellular lipid content and insulin resistance in skeletal muscle in these individuals. In summary, in vivo MRS has proved to be an important tool for elucidating the causal chain of events that causes insulin resistance. Understanding the cellular mechanism(s) of insulin resistance in turn offers the prospect of better targeted and more effective therapeutic interventions for treatment and prevention of type 2 diabetes.
doi:10.1016/j.amjmed.2006.01.009
PMCID: PMC2995525  PMID: 16563942
Fat; Insulin resistance; Insulin sensitivity; The metabolic syndrome; Obesity; Type 2 diabetes mellitus
9.  Mitochondrial Oxidative Phosphorylation Is Impaired in Patients with Congenital Lipodystrophy 
Objective:
Lipid accumulation in skeletal muscle and the liver is strongly implicated in the development of insulin resistance and type 2 diabetes, but the mechanisms underpinning fat accrual in these sites remain incompletely understood. Accumulating evidence of muscle mitochondrial dysfunction in insulin-resistant states has fuelled the notion that primary defects in mitochondrial fat oxidation may be a contributory mechanism. The purpose of our study was to determine whether patients with congenital lipodystrophy, a disorder primarily affecting white adipose tissue, manifest impaired mitochondrial oxidative phosphorylation in skeletal muscle.
Research Design and Methods:
Mitochondrial oxidative phosphorylation was assessed in quadriceps muscle using 31P-magnetic resonance spectroscopy measurements of phosphocreatine recovery kinetics after a standardized exercise bout in nondiabetic patients with congenital lipodystrophy and in age-, gender-, body mass index-, and fitness-matched controls.
Results:
The phosphocreatine recovery rate constant (k) was significantly lower in patients with congenital lipodystrophy than in healthy controls (P < 0.001). This substantial (∼35%) defect in mitochondrial oxidative phosphorylation was not associated with significant changes in basal or sleeping metabolic rates.
Conclusions:
Muscle mitochondrial oxidative phosphorylation is impaired in patients with congenital lipodystrophy, a paradigmatic example of primary adipose tissue dysfunction. This finding suggests that changes in mitochondrial oxidative phosphorylation in skeletal muscle could, at least in some circumstances, be a secondary consequence of adipose tissue failure. These data corroborate accumulating evidence that mitochondrial dysfunction can be a consequence of insulin-resistant states rather than a primary defect. Nevertheless, impaired mitochondrial fat oxidation is likely to accelerate ectopic fat accumulation and worsen insulin resistance.
doi:10.1210/jc.2011-2587
PMCID: PMC3380089  PMID: 22238385
10.  Overexpression of uncoupling protein 3 in skeletal muscle protects against fat-induced insulin resistance 
Journal of Clinical Investigation  2007;117(7):1995-2003.
Insulin resistance is a major factor in the pathogenesis of type 2 diabetes and is strongly associated with obesity. Increased concentrations of intracellular fatty acid metabolites have been postulated to interfere with insulin signaling by activation of a serine kinase cascade involving PKCθ in skeletal muscle. Uncoupling protein 3 (UCP3) has been postulated to dissipate the mitochondrial proton gradient and cause metabolic inefficiency. We therefore hypothesized that overexpression of UCP3 in skeletal muscle might protect against fat-induced insulin resistance in muscle by conversion of intramyocellular fat into thermal energy. Wild-type mice fed a high-fat diet were markedly insulin resistant, a result of defects in insulin-stimulated glucose uptake in skeletal muscle and hepatic insulin resistance. Insulin resistance in these tissues was associated with reduced insulin-stimulated insulin receptor substrate 1– (IRS-1–) and IRS-2–associated PI3K activity in muscle and liver, respectively. In contrast, UCP3-overexpressing mice were completely protected against fat-induced defects in insulin signaling and action in these tissues. Furthermore, these changes were associated with a lower membrane-to-cytosolic ratio of diacylglycerol and reduced PKCθ activity in whole-body fat–matched UCP3 transgenic mice. These results suggest that increasing mitochondrial uncoupling in skeletal muscle may be an excellent therapeutic target for type 2 diabetes mellitus.
doi:10.1172/JCI13579
PMCID: PMC1888566  PMID: 17571165
11.  A simple and rapid method to characterize lipid fate in skeletal muscle 
BMC Research Notes  2014;7:391.
Background
Elevated fatty acids contribute to the development of type 2 diabetes and affect skeletal muscle insulin sensitivity. Since elevated intramuscular lipids and insulin resistance is strongly correlated, aberrant lipid storage or lipid intermediates may be involved in diabetes pathogenesis. The aim of this study was to develop a method to determine the dynamic metabolic fate of lipids in primary human skeletal muscle cells and in intact mouse skeletal muscle. We report a simple and fast method to characterize lipid profiles in skeletal muscle using thin layer chromatography.
Findings
The described method was specifically developed to assess lipid utilization in cultured and intact skeletal muscle. We determined the effect of a pan-diacylglycerol kinase (DGK) class I inhibitor (R59949) on lipid metabolism to validate the method. In human skeletal muscle cells, DGK inhibition impaired diacylglycerol (DAG) conversion to phosphatidic acid and increased triglyceride synthesis. In intact glycolytic mouse skeletal muscle, DGK inhibition triggered the accumulation of DAG species. Conversely, the DGK inhibitor did not affect DAG content in oxidative muscle.
Conclusion
This simple assay detects rapid changes in the lipid species composition of skeletal muscle with high sensitivity and specificity. Determination of lipid metabolism in skeletal muscle may further elucidate the mechanisms contributing to the pathogenesis of insulin resistance in type 2 diabetes or obesity.
doi:10.1186/1756-0500-7-391
PMCID: PMC4089939  PMID: 24962347
Skeletal muscle; Free fatty acids; Lipid metabolism; Thin-layer chromatography
12.  GLUT4 and UBC9 Protein Expression Is Reduced in Muscle from Type 2 Diabetic Patients with Severe Insulin Resistance 
PLoS ONE  2011;6(11):e27854.
Aims
Subgroups of patients with type 2 diabetes mellitus demand large insulin doses to maintain euglycemia. These patients are characterized by severe skeletal muscle insulin resistance and the underlying pathology remains unclear. The purpose of this study was to examine protein expression of the principal glucose transporter, GLUT4, and associated proteins in skeletal muscle from type 2 diabetic patients characterized by severe insulin resistance.
Methods
Seven type 2 diabetic patients with severe insulin resistance (mean insulin dose 195 IU/day) were compared with seven age matched type 2 diabetic patients who did not require insulin treatment, and with an age matched healthy control group. Protein expression of GLUT4 and associated proteins was assessed in muscle and fat biopsies using standard western blotting techniques.
Results
GLUT4 protein expression was significantly reduced by ∼30 pct in skeletal muscle tissue from severely insulin resistant type 2 diabetic subjects, compared with both healthy controls and type 2 diabetic subjects that did not require insulin treatment. In fat tissue, GLUT4 protein expression was reduced in both diabetic groups. In skeletal muscle, the reduced GLUT4 expression in severe insulin resistance was associated with decreased ubiquitin-conjugating enzyme 9 (UBC9) expression while expression of GLUT1, TBC1D1 and AS160 was not significantly different among type 2 diabetic patients and matched controls.
Conclusions
Type 2 diabetic patients with severe insulin resistance have reduced expression of GLUT4 in skeletal muscle compared to patients treated with oral antidiabetic drugs alone. GLUT4 protein levels may therefore play a role in the pathology behind type 2 diabetes mellitus among subgroups of patients, and this may explain the heterogeneous response to insulin treatment. This new finding contributes to the understanding of the underlying mechanisms for the development of extreme insulin resistance.
doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0027854
PMCID: PMC3218059  PMID: 22114711
13.  Decreased Insulin-Stimulated ATP Synthesis and Phosphate Transport in Muscle of Insulin-Resistant Offspring of Type 2 Diabetic Parents 
PLoS Medicine  2005;2(9):e233.
Background
Insulin resistance is the best predictor for the development of type 2 diabetes. Recent studies have shown that young, lean, insulin-resistant (IR) offspring of parents with type 2 diabetes have reduced basal rates of muscle mitochondrial phosphorylation activity associated with increased intramyocellular lipid (IMCL) content, which in turn blocks insulin signaling and insulin action in muscle. In order to further characterize mitochondrial activity in these individuals, we examined insulin-stimulated rates of adenosine triphosphate (ATP) synthesis and phosphate transport in skeletal muscle in a similar cohort of participants.
Methods and Findings
Rates of insulin-stimulated muscle mitochondrial ATP synthase flux and insulin-stimulated increases in concentrations of intramyocellular inorganic phosphate (Pi) were assessed by 31P magnetic resonance spectroscopy (MRS) in healthy, lean, IR offspring of parents with type 2 diabetes and healthy, lean control participants with normal insulin sensitivity. IMCL content in the soleus muscle of all participants was assessed by 1H MRS. During a hyperinsulinemic-euglycemic clamp, rates of insulin-stimulated glucose uptake were decreased by approximately 50% in the IR offspring compared to the control participants (p = 0.007 versus controls) and were associated with an approximately 2-fold increase in IMCL content (p < 0.006 versus controls). In the control participants rates of ATP synthesis increased by approximately 90% during the hyperinsulinemic-euglycemic clamp. In contrast, insulin-stimulated rates of muscle mitochondrial ATP synthesis increased by only 5% in the IR offspring (p = 0.001 versus controls) and was associated with a severe reduction of insulin-stimulated increases in the intramyocellular Pi concentrations (IR offspring: 4.7% ± 1.9% versus controls: 19.3% ± 5.7%; p = 0.03). Insulin-induced increases in intramyocellular Pi concentrations correlated well with insulin-stimulated increases in rates of ATP synthesis (r = 0.67; p = 0.008).
Conclusions
These data demonstrate that insulin-stimulated rates of mitochondrial ATP synthesis are reduced in IR offspring of parents with type 2 diabetes. Furthermore, these IR offspring also have impaired insulin-stimulated phosphate transport in muscle, which may contribute to their defects in insulin-stimulated rates of mitochondrial ATP synthesis.
doi:10.1371/journal.pmed.0020233
PMCID: PMC1184227  PMID: 16089501
14.  Mitochondrial Dysfunction and Type 2 Diabetes 
Current diabetes reports  2005;5(3):177-183.
Insulin resistance plays a major role in the pathogenesis of the metabolic syndrome and type 2 diabetes, and yet the mechanisms responsible for it remain poorly understood. Magnetic resonance spectroscopy studies in humans suggest that a defect in insulin-stimulated glucose transport in skeletal muscle is the primary metabolic abnormality in insulin-resistant patients with type 2 diabetes. Fatty acids appear to cause this defect in glucose transport by inhibiting insulin-stimulated tyrosine phosphorylation of insulin receptor substrate-1 (IRS-1) and IRS-1–associated phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase activity. A number of different metabolic abnormalities may increase intramyocellular and intrahepatic fatty acid metabolites; these include increased fat delivery to muscle and liver as a consequence of either excess energy intake or defects in adipocyte fat metabolism, and acquired or inherited defects in mitochondrial fatty acid oxidation. Understanding the molecular and biochemical defects responsible for insulin resistance is beginning to unveil novel therapeutic targets for the treatment of the metabolic syndrome and type 2 diabetes.
PMCID: PMC2995500  PMID: 15929863
15.  A Prevalent Variant in PPP1R3A Impairs Glycogen Synthesis and Reduces Muscle Glycogen Content in Humans and Mice 
PLoS Medicine  2008;5(1):e27.
Background
Stored glycogen is an important source of energy for skeletal muscle. Human genetic disorders primarily affecting skeletal muscle glycogen turnover are well-recognised, but rare. We previously reported that a frameshift/premature stop mutation in PPP1R3A, the gene encoding RGL, a key regulator of muscle glycogen metabolism, was present in 1.36% of participants from a population of white individuals in the UK. However, the functional implications of the mutation were not known. The objective of this study was to characterise the molecular and physiological consequences of this genetic variant.
Methods and Findings
In this study we found a similar prevalence of the variant in an independent UK white population of 744 participants (1.46%) and, using in vivo 13C magnetic resonance spectroscopy studies, demonstrate that human carriers (n = 6) of the variant have low basal (65% lower, p = 0.002) and postprandial muscle glycogen levels. Mice engineered to express the equivalent mutation had similarly decreased muscle glycogen levels (40% lower in heterozygous knock-in mice, p < 0.05). In muscle tissue from these mice, failure of the truncated mutant to bind glycogen and colocalize with glycogen synthase (GS) decreased GS and increased glycogen phosphorylase activity states, which account for the decreased glycogen content.
Conclusions
Thus, PPP1R3A C1984ΔAG (stop codon 668) is, to our knowledge, the first prevalent mutation described that directly impairs glycogen synthesis and decreases glycogen levels in human skeletal muscle. The fact that it is present in ∼1 in 70 UK whites increases the potential biomedical relevance of these observations.
Stephen O'Rahilly and colleagues describe the effect of a mutation inPPP1R3A, present in 1.36% of participants from one UK population, that directly impairs glycogen synthesis and decreases glycogen levels in human skeletal muscle.
Editors' Summary
Background.
The human body gets the energy it needs for day-to-day living from food in a process called metabolism. However, not all the energy released by metabolism is used immediately. Some is stored in skeletal muscles as glycogen, a glucose polymer that is used during high intensity exercise. After eating, chemicals in the digestive system release glucose (a type of sugar) from food into the bloodstream where it triggers insulin release from the pancreas. Insulin instructs muscle, liver and fat cells to remove glucose from the bloodstream to keep the amount of sugar in the blood at a safe level. The cells use the glucose immediately as fuel or convert it into glycogen or fat for storage. Glycogen turnover (the depletion and replacement of glycogen stores) is tightly controlled by glycogen synthase and glycogen phosphorylase, enzymes that make and destroy glycogen, respectively. A third enzyme called protein phosphatase 1 promotes net glycogen synthesis by activating glycogen synthase and inactivating glycogen phosphorylase. The activity of protein phosphatase 1 is regulated by a family of “targeting subunits.” In muscle, one of these targeting subunits, called RGL, facilitates protein phosphatase 1 action on glycogen synthase and glycogen phosphorylase.
Why Was This Study Done?
Several known human genetic disorders affect the breakdown of muscle glycogen but few genetic changes (mutations) have been found that decrease the synthesis of muscle glycogen. Researchers are interested in discovering mutations that affect glycogen turnover and other aspects of metabolism because some of these may be involved in the development of diabetes, an important metabolic disorder characterized by high blood sugar levels. In this study, the researchers have investigated how a recently identified mutation in PPP1R3A, the gene that encodes RGL, affects glycogen synthesis. This mutation—PPP1R3A FS—was previously found in 1.36% of a UK white population. It causes the production of a short version of RGL that lacks the part of the molecule that tethers RGL to a cellular structure called the sarcoplasmic reticulum but leaves its glycogen binding domain intact.
What Did the Researchers Do and Find?
To confirm that PPP1R3A FS is a common mutation in the UK white population, the researchers sequenced the gene in 744 healthy adults enrolled in the Oxford Biobank (which hopes to uncover metabolically important genetic variations by monitoring the health of a large number of 30- to 50-year-old people from whom DNA has been collected). 1.46% of these people had the PPP1R3A FS mutation. To examine glycogen storage in carriers of the mutation, the researchers used a technique called in vivo 13C magnetic resonance spectroscopy. Basal muscle glycogen levels and those reached after a meal were lower in these individuals than in people without the mutation but their blood sugar and insulin levels were normal. Finally, to examine how the mutation reduces muscle glycogen, the researchers made mice carrying the PPP1R3A FS mutation. Like the human carriers, these mice had less glycogen than normal in their muscles. Unexpectedly, in biochemical experiments the truncated RGL protein made by the mutant mice did not bind to glycogen or co-localize with glycogen synthase. This lack of binding decreased the activity of glycogen synthase and increased the activity of glycogen phosphorylase, thus decreasing muscle glycogen.
What Do These Findings Mean?
These findings identify the PPP1R3A FS mutation as the first prevalent mutation known to impair glycogen synthesis and to decrease glycogen levels in human skeletal muscles. They also confirm that this mutation is very common in UK whites. Although these human carriers do not report any exercise intolerance, detailed studies are needed to test whether the mutation has any effect on skeletal muscle performance. In addition, suggest the researchers, the mutation might be involved in the development of type 2 diabetes. Impaired insulin-stimulated glycogen synthesis, which is a feature of insulin-resistant muscle and liver cells, is thought to be a key event in the development of type 2 diabetes. Although some previous results indicate that the PPP1R3A FS mutations can sometimes predispose people to develop insulin resistance, only a large population-based study in multiple ethnic groups will reveal whether the PPP1R3A FS mutation has an important impact on the development of type 2 diabetes.
Additional Information.
Please access these Web sites via the online version of this summary at http://dx.doi.org/10.1371/journal.pmed.0050027.
Wikipedia has pages on metabolism and on glycogen (note that Wikipedia is a free online encyclopedia that anyone can edit; available in several languages)
The MedlinePlus encyclopedia provides information about diabetes (in English and Spanish)
The UK Biobank is looking for genetic variations among human populations that are associated with metabolic and other disorders
Web sites are available with brief descriptions of the research programs of Stephen O'Rahilly and Anna DePaoli-Roach
doi:10.1371/journal.pmed.0050027
PMCID: PMC2214798  PMID: 18232732
16.  AMPD1: a novel therapeutic target for reversing insulin resistance 
BMC Endocrine Disorders  2014;14(1):96.
Background
Insulin resistance is one of the hallmark manifestations of obesity and Type II diabetes and reversal of this pathogenic abnormality is an attractive target for new therapies for Type II diabetes. A recent report that metformin, a drug known to reverse insulin resistance, demonstrated in vitro the metformin can inhibit AMP deaminase (AMPD) activity. Skeletal muscle is one of the primary organs contributing to insulin resistance and that the AMPD1 gene is selectively expressed at high levels in skeletal muscle.
Methods
Recognizing the background above, we asked if genetic disruption of the AMPD1 gene might ameliorate the manifestations of insulin resistance. AMPD1 deficient homozygous mice and control mice fed normal chow diet or a high-fat diet, and blood analysis, glucose tolerance test and insulin tolerance test were performed. Also, skeletal muscle metabolism and gene expression including nucleotide levels and activation of AMP activated protein kinase (AMP kinase) were evaluated in both conditions.
Results
Disruption of the AMPD1 gene leads to a less severe state of insulin resistance, improved glucose tolerance and enhanced insulin clearance in mice fed a high fat diet. Given the central role of AMP kinase in insulin action, and its response to changes in AMP concentrations in the cell, we examined the skeletal muscle of the AMPD1 deficient mice and found that they have greater AMP kinase activity as evidenced by higher levels of phosphorylated AMP kinase.
Conclusions
Taken together these data suggest that AMPD may be a new drug target for the reversal of insulin resistance and the treatment of Type II diabetes.
Electronic supplementary material
The online version of this article (doi:10.1186/1472-6823-14-96) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.
doi:10.1186/1472-6823-14-96
PMCID: PMC4274759  PMID: 25511531
AMP deaminase; Adenine nucleotide; Diabetes; Insulin resistance; AMP kinase; Glucose metabolism
17.  Human primary myoblast cell cultures from non-diabetic insulin resistant subjects retain defects in insulin action. 
Journal of Clinical Investigation  1996;98(10):2346-2350.
Insulin resistance is a predictor of the development of noninsulin-dependent diabetes mellitus (NIDDM) in humans. It is unclear whether insulin resistance is a primary defect leading to NIDDM or the result of hyperinsulinemia and hyperglycemia. To determine if insulin resistance is the result of extrinsic factors such as hyperinsulinemia primary skeletal muscle cell cultures were established from muscle biopsies from Pima Indians with differing in vivo insulin sensitivities. These cell cultures expressed a variety of muscle-specific phenotypes including the proteins alpha-actinin and myosin, muscle-specific creatine kinase activity, and RNA encoding GLUT4, MYF5, MYOD1, and MYOGENIN. Labeled glucose was used to measure the insulin-stimulated conversion of glucose to glycogen in these cultures. The in vivo rates of insulin-stimulated glycogen production (insulin resistance) were correlated with in vitro measures of glycogen production (P = 0.007, r = 0.58). This defect in insulin action is stable in a uniform culture environment and is retained over time. The retention of insulin resistance in myoblast derived cell cultures is consistent with the expression of an underlying biochemical defect in insulin resistant skeletal muscle.
PMCID: PMC507685  PMID: 8941652
18.  Activation of skeletal muscle casein kinase II by insulin is not diminished in subjects with insulin resistance. 
Journal of Clinical Investigation  1991;87(3):1017-1022.
Insulin resistance, which may precede the development of non-insulin-dependent diabetes mellitus in Pima Indians, appears to result from a postreceptor defect in signal transduction in skeletal muscle. To identify the putative postreceptor lesion responsible for insulin resistance in Pima Indians, we investigated the influence of insulin on the activity of casein kinase II (CKII) in skeletal muscle of seven insulin-sensitive, four insulin-resistant, nondiabetic, and five insulin-resistant diabetic Pima Indians during a 2 h hyperinsulinemic, euglycemic clamp. In sensitive subjects, CKII was transiently activated reaching a maximum over basal activity (42%) at 45 min before declining. CKII was also stimulated in resistant (19%) and diabetic (34%) subjects. Basal CKII activity in resistant subjects was 40% higher than in either sensitive or diabetic subjects, although the concentration of CKII protein, as determined by Western blotting, was equal among the three groups. Basal CKII activity was correlated with fasting plasma insulin concentrations, suggesting that the higher activity in resistant subjects resulted from insulin action. Extracts of muscle obtained from all three groups either before or after insulin administration were treated with immobilized alkaline phosphatase, which reduced and equalized CKII activity. These results suggest that insulin stimulates CKII activity in human skeletal muscle by a mechanism involving phosphorylation of either CKII or of an effector molecule, and support the idea that elevated basal activity in resistant subjects results from insulin action. It appears that the ability of insulin to activate CKII in skeletal muscle is not impaired in insulin-resistant Pima Indians, and that the biochemical lesion responsible for insulin resistance occurs either downstream from CKII or in a different pathway of insulin action.
Images
PMCID: PMC329895  PMID: 1999482
19.  Oxidative Stress and the Etiology of Insulin Resistance and Type 2 Diabetes 
Free radical biology & medicine  2010;51(5):993-999.
The condition of oxidative stress arises when oxidant production exceeds antioxidant activity in cells and plasma. The overabundance of oxidants is mechanistically connected with the multifactorial etiology of insulin resistance, primarily in skeletal muscle tissue, and the subsequent development of type 2 diabetes. Two important mechanisms for this oxidant excess are 1) the mitochondrial overproduction of hydrogen peroxide and superoxide ion in conditions of energy surplus and 2) the enhanced activation of cellular NADPH oxidase via angiotensin II (AT1) receptors. Several recent studies are reviewed that support the concept that direct exposure of mammalian skeletal muscle to an oxidant stress (including hydrogen peroxide) results in stimulation of the serine kinase p38 mitogen-activated protein kinase (p38 MAPK), and that the engagement of this stress-activated p38 MAPK signaling is mechanistically associated with diminished insulin-dependent stimulation of insulin signaling elements and glucose transport activity. The beneficial interactions between the antioxidant α-lipoic acid and the advanced glycation end product inhibitor pyridoxamine to ameliorate oxidant stress-associated defects in whole-body and skeletal muscle insulin action in the obese Zucker rat, a model of pre-diabetes, are also addressed. Overall, this review highlights the importance of oxidative stress in the development of insulin resistance in mammalian skeletal muscle tissue, at least in part via a p38 MAPK-dependent mechanism, and indicates that interventions that reduce this oxidative stress and oxidative damage can improve insulin action in insulin-resistant animal models. Strategies to prevent and ameliorate oxidative stress remain important in the overall treatment of insulin resistance and type 2 diabetes.
doi:10.1016/j.freeradbiomed.2010.12.005
PMCID: PMC3071882  PMID: 21163347
Hydrogen peroxide; skeletal muscle; glucose transport; obese Zucker rat; lipoic acid
20.  Pathogenesis of Insulin Resistance in Skeletal Muscle 
Insulin resistance in skeletal muscle is manifested by decreased insulin-stimulated glucose uptake and results from impaired insulin signaling and multiple post-receptor intracellular defects including impaired glucose transport, glucose phosphorylation, and reduced glucose oxidation and glycogen synthesis. Insulin resistance is a core defect in type 2 diabetes, it is also associated with obesity and the metabolic syndrome. Dysregulation of fatty acid metabolism plays a pivotal role in the pathogenesis of insulin resistance in skeletal muscle. Recent studies have reported a mitochondrial defect in oxidative phosphorylation in skeletal muscle in variety of insulin resistant states. In this review, we summarize the cellular and molecular defects that contribute to the development of insulin resistance in skeletal muscle.
doi:10.1155/2010/476279
PMCID: PMC2860140  PMID: 20445742
21.  Obesity-Induced Insulin Resistance in Human Skeletal Muscle Is Characterised by Defective Activation of p42/p44 MAP Kinase 
PLoS ONE  2013;8(2):e56928.
Insulin resistance (IR), an impaired cellular, tissue and whole body response to insulin, is a major pathophysiological defect of type 2 diabetes mellitus. Although IR is closely associated with obesity, the identity of the molecular defect(s) underlying obesity-induced IR in skeletal muscle remains controversial; reduced post-receptor signalling of the insulin receptor substrate 1 (IRS1) adaptor protein and downstream effectors such as protein kinase B (PKB) have previously been implicated. We examined expression and/or activation of a number of components of the insulin-signalling cascade in skeletal muscle of 22 healthy young men (with body mass index (BMI) range, 20–37 kg/m2). Whole body insulin sensitivity (M value) and body composition was determined by the hyperinsulinaemic (40 mU. min−1.m−2.), euglycaemic clamp and by dual energy X-ray absorptiometry (DEXA) respectively. Skeletal muscle (vastus lateralis) biopsies were taken before and after one hour of hyperinsulinaemia and the muscle insulin signalling proteins examined by western blot and immunoprecipitation assay. There was a strong inverse relationship between M-value and BMI. The most striking abnormality was significantly reduced insulin-induced activation of p42/44 MAP kinase, measured by specific assay, in the volunteers with poor insulin sensitivity. However, there was no relationship between individuals' BMI or M-value and protein expression/phosphorylation of IRS1, PKB, or p42/44 MAP kinase protein, under basal or hyperinsulinaemic conditions. In the few individuals with poor insulin sensitivity but preserved p42/44 MAP kinase activation, other signalling defects were evident. These findings implicate defective p42/44 MAP kinase signalling as a potential contributor to obesity-related IR in a non-diabetic population, although clearly multiple signalling defects underlie obesity associated IR.
doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0056928
PMCID: PMC3585240  PMID: 23468892
22.  Decreased insulin activation of glycogen synthase in skeletal muscles in young nonobese Caucasian first-degree relatives of patients with non-insulin-dependent diabetes mellitus. 
Journal of Clinical Investigation  1992;89(3):782-788.
Insulin resistance in non-insulin-dependent diabetes is associated with a defective insulin activation of the enzyme glycogen synthase in skeletal muscles. To investigate whether this may be a primary defect, we studied 20 young (25 +/- 1 yr) Caucasian first-degree relatives (children) of patients with non-insulin-dependent diabetes, and 20 matched controls without a family history of diabetes. Relatives and controls had a normal oral glucose tolerance, and were studied by means of the euglycemic hyperinsulinemic clamp technique, which included performance of indirect calorimetry and muscle biopsies. Insulin-stimulated glucose disposal was decreased in the relatives (9.2 +/- 0.6 vs 11.5 +/- 0.5 mg/kg fat-free mass per (FFM) min, P less than 0.02), and was due to a decreased rate of insulin-stimulated nonoxidative glucose metabolism (5.0 +/- 0.5 vs 7.5 +/- 0.4 mg/kg fat-free mass per min, P less than 0.001). The insulin-stimulated, fractional glycogen synthase activity (0.1/10 mmol liter glucose-6-phosphate) was decreased in the relatives (46.9 +/- 2.3 vs 56.4 +/- 3.2%, P less than 0.01), and there was a significant correlation between insulin-stimulated, fractional glycogen synthase activity and nonoxidative glucose metabolism in relatives (r = 0.76, P less than 0.001) and controls (r = 0.63, P less than 0.01). Furthermore, the insulin-stimulated increase in muscle glycogen content over basal values was lower in the relatives (13 +/- 25 vs 46 +/- 9 mmol/kg dry wt, P = 0.05). We conclude that the defect in insulin activation of muscle glycogen synthase may be a primary, possibly genetically determined, defect that contributes to the development of non-insulin-dependent diabetes.
Images
PMCID: PMC442922  PMID: 1541672
23.  Regular Breakfast Consumption and Type 2 Diabetes Risk Markers in 9- to 10-Year-Old Children in the Child Heart and Health Study in England (CHASE): A Cross-Sectional Analysis 
PLoS Medicine  2014;11(9):e1001703.
Angela Donin and colleagues evaluated the association between breakfast consumption and composition and risk markers for diabetes and cardiovascular disease in 9- and 10-year-olds.
Please see later in the article for the Editors' Summary
Background
Regular breakfast consumption may protect against type 2 diabetes risk in adults but little is known about its influence on type 2 diabetes risk markers in children. We investigated the associations between breakfast consumption (frequency and content) and risk markers for type 2 diabetes (particularly insulin resistance and glycaemia) and cardiovascular disease in children.
Methods and Findings
We conducted a cross-sectional study of 4,116 UK primary school children aged 9–10 years. Participants provided information on breakfast frequency, had measurements of body composition, and gave fasting blood samples for measurements of blood lipids, insulin, glucose, and glycated haemoglobin (HbA1c). A subgroup of 2,004 children also completed a 24-hour dietary recall. Among 4,116 children studied, 3,056 (74%) ate breakfast daily, 450 (11%) most days, 372 (9%) some days, and 238 (6%) not usually. Graded associations between breakfast frequency and risk markers were observed; children who reported not usually having breakfast had higher fasting insulin (percent difference 26.4%, 95% CI 16.6%–37.0%), insulin resistance (percent difference 26.7%, 95% CI 17.0%–37.2%), HbA1c (percent difference 1.2%, 95% CI 0.4%–2.0%), glucose (percent difference 1.0%, 95% CI 0.0%–2.0%), and urate (percent difference 6%, 95% CI 3%–10%) than those who reported having breakfast daily; these differences were little affected by adjustment for adiposity, socioeconomic status, and physical activity levels. When the higher levels of triglyceride, systolic blood pressure, and C-reactive protein for those who usually did not eat breakfast relative to those who ate breakfast daily were adjusted for adiposity, the differences were no longer significant. Children eating a high fibre cereal breakfast had lower insulin resistance than those eating other breakfast types (p for heterogeneity <0.01). Differences in nutrient intakes between breakfast frequency groups did not account for the differences in type 2 diabetes markers.
Conclusions
Children who ate breakfast daily, particularly a high fibre cereal breakfast, had a more favourable type 2 diabetes risk profile. Trials are needed to quantify the protective effect of breakfast on emerging type 2 diabetes risk.
Please see later in the article for the Editors' Summary
Editors' Summary
Background
Worldwide, more than 380 million people have diabetes, a disorder that is characterized by high levels of glucose (sugar) in the blood. Blood sugar levels are usually controlled by insulin, a hormone released by the pancreas after meals (digestion of food produces glucose). In people with type 2 diabetes (the commonest type of diabetes) blood sugar control fails because the fat and muscle cells that normally respond to insulin become insulin resistant. Type 2 diabetes can often be controlled initially with diet and exercise and with drugs such as metformin and sulfonylureas. However, many patients eventually need insulin injections to control their blood sugar levels. Long-term complications of diabetes, which include an increased risk of heart disease and stroke (cardiovascular disease), reduce the life expectancy of people with diabetes by about 10 years compared to people without diabetes. Risk factors for the condition include being over 40 years old and being overweight or obese.
Why Was This Study Done?
Experts predict that by 2035 nearly 600 million people will have diabetes so better strategies to prevent diabetes are urgently needed. Eating breakfast regularly—particularly a high fiber, cereal-based breakfast—has been associated with a reduced risk of type 2 diabetes (and a reduced risk of being overweight or obese) in adults. However, little is known about whether breakfast eating habits affect markers of type 2 diabetes risk in children. In this cross-sectional study (an observational investigation that studies a group of individuals at a single time point), the researchers examine the associations between breakfast consumption (both frequency and content) and risk markers for type 2 diabetes, particularly insulin resistance and glycemia (the presence of sugar in the blood), in an ethnically mixed population of children; insulin resistance and glycemia measurements in children provide important information about diabetes development later in life.
What Did the Researchers Do and Find?
The researchers invited 9–10 year old children attending 200 schools in London, Birmingham, and Leicester to participate in the Child Heart and Health Study in England (CHASE), a study examining risk factors for cardiovascular disease and type 2 diabetes in children of South Asian, black African-Caribbean, and white European origin. The researchers measured the body composition of the study participants and the levels of insulin, glucose, and other markers of diabetes risk in fasting blood samples (blood taken from the children 8–10 hours after their last meal or drink). All the participants (4,116 children) reported how often they ate breakfast; 2,004 children also completed a 24-hour dietary recall questionnaire. Seventy-four percent of the children reported that they ate breakfast every day, 11% and 9% reported that they ate breakfast most days and some days, respectively, whereas 6% reported that they rarely ate breakfast. Children who ate breakfast infrequently had higher fasting insulin levels and higher insulin resistance than children who ate breakfast every day. Moreover, the children who ate a high fiber, cereal-based breakfast had lower insulin resistance than children who ate other types of breakfast such as low fiber or toast-based breakfasts.
What Do These Findings Mean?
These findings indicate that children who ate breakfast every day, particularly those who ate a high fiber breakfast, had lower levels of risk markers for type 2 diabetes than children who rarely ate breakfast. Importantly, the association between eating breakfast and having a favorable type 2 diabetes risk profile remained after allowing for differences in socioeconomic status, physical activity levels, and amount of body fat (adiposity); in observational studies, it is important to allow for the possibility that individuals who share a measured characteristic and a health outcome also share another characteristic (a confounder) that is actually responsible for the outcome. Although trials are needed to establish whether altering the breakfast habits of children can alter their risk of developing type 2 diabetes, these findings are encouraging. Specifically, they suggest that if all the children in England who do not eat breakfast daily could be encouraged to do so, it might reduce population-wide fasting insulin levels by about 4%. Moreover, encouraging children to eat a high fiber breakfast instead of a low fiber breakfast might reduce population-wide fasting insulin levels by 11%–12%. Thus, persuading children to eat a high fiber breakfast regularly could be an important component in diabetes preventative strategies in England and potentially worldwide.
Additional Information
Please access these websites via the online version of this summary at http://dx.doi.org/10.1371/journal.pmed.1001703.
The US National Diabetes Information Clearinghouse provides information about diabetes for patients, health-care professionals, and the general public, including detailed information on diabetes prevention (in English and Spanish)
The UK National Health Service Choices website provides information for patients and carers about type 2 diabetes and about living with diabetes; it also provides people's stories about diabetes; Change4Life, a UK campaign that provides tips for healthy living, has a webpage about the importance of a healthy breakfast
The charity Diabetes UK provides detailed information for patients and carers in several languages, including information on healthy lifestyles for people with diabetes
The UK-based non-profit organization Healthtalkonline has interviews with people about their experiences of diabetes
MedlinePlus provides links to further resources and advice about diabetes and diabetes prevention (in English and Spanish)
Kidshealth, a US-based not-for-profit organization provides information for parents about the importance of breakfast and information for children
More information about the Child Heart and Health Study in England (CHASE) is available
doi:10.1371/journal.pmed.1001703
PMCID: PMC4151989  PMID: 25181492
24.  Glucose toxicity and the development of diabetes in mice with muscle-specific inactivation of GLUT4 
Journal of Clinical Investigation  2001;108(1):153-160.
Using cre/loxP gene targeting, transgenic mice with muscle-specific inactivation of the GLUT4 gene (muscle GLUT4 KO) were generated and shown to develop a diabetes phenotype. To determine the mechanism, we examined insulin-stimulated glucose uptake and metabolism during hyperinsulinemic-euglycemic clamp in control and muscle GLUT4 KO mice before and after development of diabetes. Insulin-stimulated whole body glucose uptake was decreased by 55% in muscle GLUT4 KO mice, an effect that could be attributed to a 92% decrease in insulin-stimulated muscle glucose uptake. Surprisingly, insulin’s ability to stimulate adipose tissue glucose uptake and suppress hepatic glucose production was significantly impaired in muscle GLUT4 KO mice. To address whether these latter changes were caused by glucose toxicity, we treated muscle GLUT4 KO mice with phloridzin to prevent hyperglycemia and found that insulin-stimulated whole body and skeletal muscle glucose uptake were decreased substantially, whereas insulin-stimulated glucose uptake in adipose tissue and suppression of hepatic glucose production were normal after phloridzin treatment. In conclusion, these findings demonstrate that a primary defect in muscle glucose transport can lead to secondary defects in insulin action in adipose tissue and liver due to glucose toxicity. These secondary defects contribute to insulin resistance and to the development of diabetes.
PMCID: PMC353719  PMID: 11435467
25.  A Combination of Nutriments Improves Mitochondrial Biogenesis and Function in Skeletal Muscle of Type 2 Diabetic Goto–Kakizaki Rats 
PLoS ONE  2008;3(6):e2328.
Background
Recent evidence indicates that insulin resistance in skeletal muscle may be related to reduce mitochondrial number and oxidation capacity. However, it is not known whether increasing mitochondrial number and function improves insulin resistance. In the present study, we investigated the effects of a combination of nutrients on insulin resistance and mitochondrial biogenesis/function in skeletal muscle of type 2 diabetic Goto–Kakizaki rats.
Methodology/Principal Findings
We demonstrated that defect of glucose and lipid metabolism is associated with low mitochondrial content and reduced mitochondrial enzyme activity in skeletal muscle of the diabetic Goto-Kakizaki rats. The treatment of combination of R-α-lipoic acid, acetyl-L-carnitine, nicotinamide, and biotin effectively improved glucose tolerance, decreased the basal insulin secretion and the level of circulating free fatty acid (FFA), and prevented the reduction of mitochondrial biogenesis in skeletal muscle. The nutrients treatment also significantly increased mRNA levels of genes involved in lipid metabolism, including peroxisome proliferator–activated receptor-α (Pparα), peroxisome proliferator–activated receptor-δ (Pparδ), and carnitine palmitoyl transferase-1 (Mcpt-1) and activity of mitochondrial complex I and II in skeletal muscle. All of these effects of mitochondrial nutrients are comparable to that of the antidiabetic drug, pioglitazone. In addition, the treatment with nutrients, unlike pioglitazone, did not cause body weight gain.
Conclusions/Significance
These data suggest that a combination of mitochondrial targeting nutrients may improve skeletal mitochondrial dysfunction and exert hypoglycemic effects, without causing weight gain.
doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0002328
PMCID: PMC2391295  PMID: 18523557

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