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1.  Exercise-induced alterations in intramyocellular lipids and insulin resistance: the athlete’s paradox revisited 
We previously reported an “athlete’s paradox” in which endurance-trained athletes, who possess a high oxidative capacity and enhanced insulin sensitivity, also have higher intramyocellular lipid (IMCL) content. The purpose of this study was to determine whether moderate exercise training would increase IMCL, oxidative capacity of muscle, and insulin sensitivity in previously sedentary overweight to obese, insulin-resistant, older subjects. Twenty-five older (66.4 ± 0.8 yr) obese (BMI = 30.3 ± 0.7 kg/m2) men (n = 9) and women (n = 16) completed a 16-wk moderate but progressive exercise training program. Body weight and fat mass modestly but significantly (P < 0.01) decreased. Insulin sensitivity, measured using the euglycemic hyperinsulinemic clamp, was increased (21%, P = 0.02), with modest improvements (7%, P = 0.04) in aerobic fitness (V̇O2peak). Histochemical analyses of IMCL (Oil Red O staining), oxidative capacity [succinate dehydrogenase activity (SDH)], glycogen content, capillary density, and fiber type were performed on skeletal muscle biopsies. Exercise training increased IMCL by 21%. In contrast, diacylglycerol and ceramide, measured by mass spectroscopy, were decreased (n = 13; −29% and −24%, respectively, P < 0.05) with exercise training. SDH (19%), glycogen content (15%), capillary density (7%), and the percentage of type I slow oxidative fibers (from 50.8 to 55.7%), all P ≤ 0.05, were increased after exercise. In summary, these results extend the athlete’s paradox by demonstrating that chronic exercise in overweight to obese older adults improves insulin sensitivity in conjunction with favorable alterations in lipid partitioning and an enhanced oxidative capacity within muscle. Therefore, several key deleterious effects of aging and/or obesity on the metabolic profile of skeletal muscle can be reversed with only moderate increases in physical activity.
PMCID: PMC3804891  PMID: 18319352
insulin sensitivity; aging; diacylglycerol; ceramide
2.  Relationship of C5L2 Receptor to Skeletal Muscle Substrate Utilization 
PLoS ONE  2013;8(2):e57494.
To investigate the role of Acylation Stimulating Protein (ASP) receptor C5L2 in skeletal muscle fatty acid accumulation and metabolism as well as insulin sensitivity in both mice and human models of diet-induced insulin resistance.
Design and Methods
Male wildtype (WT) and C5L2 knockout (KO) mice were fed a low (LFD) or a high (HFD) fat diet for 10 weeks. Intramyocellular lipid (IMCL) accumulation (by oil red O staining) and beta-oxidation HADH enzyme activity were determined in skeletal muscle. Mitochondria were isolated from hindleg muscles for high-resolution respirometry. Muscle C5L2 protein content was also determined in obese type 2 diabetics and age- and BMI matched men.
IMCL levels were increased by six-fold in C5L2KO-HFD compared to WT-HFD mice (p<0.05) and plasma insulin levels were markedly increased in C5L2KO-HFD mice (twofold, p<0.05). Muscle HADH activity was elevated in C5L2KO-LFD mice (+75%, p<0.001 vs. WT-LFD) and C5L2KO-HFD displayed increased mitochondrial fatty acid oxidative capacity compared to WT-HFD mice (+23%, p<0.05). In human subjects, C5L2 protein content was reduced (−48%, p<0.01) in type 2 diabetic patients when compared to obese controls. Further, exercise training increased C5L2 (+45%, p = 0.0019) and ASP (+80%, p<0.001) in obese insulin-resistant men.
The results suggest that insulin sensitivity may be permissive for coupling of C5L2 levels to lipid storage and utilization.
PMCID: PMC3583831  PMID: 23460866
3.  Determinants of intramyocellular lipid accumulation after dietary fat loading in non‐obese men 
Aims/Introduction:  Accumulation of intramyocellular lipid (IMCL) is associated with insulin resistance. However, the factors affecting the change in IMCL remain to be elucidated. The aim of the present study was to determine the factors that influence the change in IMCL level after high‐fat loading.
Materials and Methods:  The study subjects were 37 non‐obese men. Each subject consumed a high‐fat diet for 3 days after a normal‐fat diet for 3 days. After each diet program, IMCL levels in the tibialis anterior (TA‐IMCL) and soleus (SOL‐IMCL) were measured by proton magnetic resonance spectroscopy. Glucose infusion rate (GIR) was evaluated by euglycemic hyperinsulinemic clamp as an index of peripheral insulin sensitivity.
Results:  The high‐fat diet significantly increased TA‐IMCL and SOL‐IMCL by ∼30 and ∼20%, respectively (P < 0.05), whereas it did not significantly alter GIR. The increase in SOL‐IMCL, but not in TA‐IMCL, negatively correlated with serum high molecular weight (HMW)‐adiponectin (r = −0.36, P < 0.05) and HMW‐/total‐adiponectin ratio (r = −0.46, P < 0.05). Although high‐fat diet‐related changes in SOL‐IMCL showed high inter‐individual variations, in subjects doing exercise, changes in SOL‐IMCL (r = 0.55, P < 0.05) and TA‐IMCL (r = 0.61, P < 0.05) positively correlated with daily physical activity level. In contrast, in sedentary subjects, changes in SOL‐IMCL (r = −0.50, P < 0.01) and TA‐IMCL (r = −0.48, P < 0.05) negatively correlated with daily physical activity.
Conclusions:  HMW‐adiponectin and daily physical activity are determinants of IMCL accumulation by a high‐fat diet. Intriguingly, the effect of daily physical activity on the change in IMCL depends on the level of regular exercise. (J Diabetes Invest,doi: 10.1111/j.2040‐1124.2010.00091.x, 2011)
PMCID: PMC4014973  PMID: 24843504
Adiponectin; Intramyocellular lipid; Physical activity
4.  Muscle Mitochondrial ATP Synthesis and Glucose Transport/Phosphorylation in Type 2 Diabetes 
PLoS Medicine  2007;4(5):e154.
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.
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
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
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
PMCID: PMC1858707  PMID: 17472434
5.  Relationships between Mitochondrial Function and Metabolic Flexibility in Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus 
PLoS ONE  2013;8(2):e51648.
Mitochondrial dysfunction, lipid accumulation, insulin resistance and metabolic inflexibility have been implicated in the etiology of type 2 diabetes (T2D), yet their interrelationship remains speculative. We investigated these interrelationships in a group of T2D and obese normoglycemic control subjects.
49 non-insulin dependent male T2D patients and 54 male control subjects were enrolled, and a hyperinsulinemic-euglycemic clamp and indirect calorimetry were performed. A muscle biopsy was taken and intramyocellular lipid (IMCL) was measured. In vivo mitochondrial function was measured by PCr recovery in 30 T2D patients and 31 control subjects.
Fasting NEFA levels were significantly elevated in T2D patients compared with controls, but IMCL was not different. Mitochondrial function in T2D patients was compromised by 12.5% (p<0.01). Whole body glucose disposal (WGD) was higher at baseline and lower after insulin stimulation. Metabolic flexibility (ΔRER) was lower in the type 2 diabetic patients (0.050±0.033 vs. 0.093±0.050, p<0.01). Mitochondrial function was the sole predictor of basal respiratory exchange ratio (RER) (R2 = 0.18, p<0.05); whereas WGD predicted both insulin-stimulated RER (R2 = 0.29, p<0.001) and metabolic flexibility (R2 = 0.40, p<0.001).
These results indicate that defects in skeletal muscle in vivo mitochondrial function in type 2 diabetic patients are only reflected in basal substrate oxidation and highlight the importance of glucose disposal rate as a determinant of substrate utilization in response to insulin.
PMCID: PMC3572106  PMID: 23418416
6.  Markers of Skeletal Muscle Mitochondrial Function and Lipid Accumulation Are Moderately Associated with the Homeostasis Model Assessment Index of Insulin Resistance in Obese Men 
PLoS ONE  2013;8(6):e66322.
Lower skeletal muscle mitochondrial oxidative phosphorylation capacity (OXPHOS) and intramyocellular lipid (IMCL) accumulation have been implicated in the etiology of insulin resistance (IR) in obesity. The purpose of this study was to examine the impact of endurance exercise on biochemical and morphological measures of IMCL and mitochondrial content, and their relationship to IR in obese individuals. We examined mitochondrial content (subunit protein abundance and maximal activity of electron transport chain enzymes), IMCL/mitochondrial morphology in both subsarcolemmal (SS) and intermyofibrillar (IMF) regions by transmission electron microscopy, and intracellular lipid metabolites (diacylglycerol and ceramide) in vastus lateralis biopsies, as well as, the homeostasis model assessment index of IR (HOMA-IR) prior to and following twelve weeks of an endurance exercise regimen in healthy age- and physical activity-matched lean and obese men. Obese men did not show evidence of mitochondrial OXPHOS dysfunction, disproportionate IMCL content in sub-cellular regions, or diacylglycerol/ceramide accretion despite marked IR vs. lean controls. Endurance exercise increased OXPHOS and mitochondrial size and density, but not number of individual mitochondrial fragments, with moderate improvements in HOMA-IR. Exercise reduced SS IMCL content (size, number and density), increased IMF IMCL content, while increasing IMCL/mitochondrial juxtaposition in both regions. HOMA-IR was inversely associated with SS (r = −0.34; P = 0.051) and IMF mitochondrial density (r = −0.29; P = 0.096), IMF IMCL/mitochondrial juxtaposition (r = −0.30; P = 0.086), and COXII (r = −0.32; P = 0.095) and COXIV protein abundance (r = −0.35; P = 0.052); while positively associated with SS IMCL size (r = 0.28; P = 0.119) and SS IMCL density (r = 0.25; P = 0.152). Our findings suggest that once physical activity and cardiorespiratory fitness have been controlled for, skeletal muscle mitochondrial and IMCL profile in obesity may only partially contribute to the development of IR.
PMCID: PMC3680409  PMID: 23776659
7.  Intramyocellular Lipid and Insulin Resistance: Differential Relationships in European and African Americans 
Obesity (Silver Spring, Md.)  2011;19(7):1469-1475.
Insulin resistance has been associated with the accumulation of fat within skeletal muscle fibers as intramyocellular lipid (IMCL). Here, we have examined in a cross-sectional study the interrelationships among IMCL, insulin sensitivity, and adiposity in European Americans (EAs) and African Americans (AAs). In 43 EA and 43 AA subjects, we measured soleus IMCL content with proton-magnetic resonance spectroscopy, insulin sensitivity with hyperinsulinemic–euglycemic clamp, and body composition with dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry. The AA and EA subgroups had similar IMCL content, insulin sensitivity, and percent fat, but only in EA was IMCL correlated with insulin sensitivity (r = −0.47, P < 0.01), BMI (r = 0.56, P < 0.01), percent fat (r = 0.35, P < 0.05), trunk fat (r = 0.47, P < 0.01), leg fat (r = 0.40, P < 0.05), and waist and hip circumferences (r = 0.54 and 0.55, respectively, P < 0.01). In a multiple regression model including IMCL, race, and a race by IMCL interaction, the interaction was found to be a significant predictor (t = 1.69, DF = 1, P = 0.0422). IMCL is related to insulin sensitivity and adiposity in EA but not in AA, suggesting that IMCL may not function as a pathophysiological factor in individuals of African descent. These results highlight ethnic differences in the determinants of insulin sensitivity and in the pathogenesis of the metabolic syndrome trait cluster.
PMCID: PMC3171736  PMID: 21436797
8.  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.
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).
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.
PMCID: PMC1184227  PMID: 16089501
9.  Effect of Calorie Restriction With or Without Exercise on Insulin Sensitivity, β-Cell Function, Fat Cell Size, and Ectopic Lipid in Overweight Subjects 
Diabetes care  2006;29(6):1337-1344.
The purpose of this article was to determine the relationships among total body fat, visceral adipose tissue (VAT), fat cell size (FCS), ectopic fat deposition in liver (intra-hepatic lipid [IHL]) and muscle (intramyocellular lipid [IMCL]), and insulin sensitivity index (Si) in healthy overweight, glucose-tolerant subjects and the effects of calorie restriction by diet alone or in conjunction with exercise on these variables.
Forty-eight overweight volunteers were randomly assigned to four groups: control (100% of energy requirements), 25% calorie restriction (CR), 12.5% calorie restriction +12.5% energy expenditure through structured exercise (CREX), or 15% weight loss by a low-calorie diet followed by weight maintenance for 6 months (LCD). Weight, percent body fat, VAT, IMCL, IHL, FCS, and Si were assessed at baseline and month 6.
At baseline, FCS was related to VAT and IHL (P < 0.05) but not to IMCL. FCS was also the strongest determinant of Si (P < 0.01). Weight loss at month 6 was 1 ± 1% (control, mean ± SE), 10 ± 1% (CR), 10 ± 1% (CREX), and 14 ± 1% (LCD). VAT, FCS, percent body fat, and IHL were reduced in the three intervention groups (P < 0.01), but IMCL was unchanged. Si was increased at month 6 (P = 0.05) in the CREX (37 ± 18%) and LCD (70 ± 34%) groups (P < 0.05) and tended to increase in the CR group (40 ± 20%, P = 0.08). Together the improvements in Si were related to loss in weight, fat mass, and VAT, but not IHL, IMCL, or FCS.
Large adipocytes lead to lipid deposition in visceral and hepatic tissues, promoting insulin resistance. Calorie restriction by diet alone or with exercise reverses this trend.
PMCID: PMC2677812  PMID: 16732018
10.  Effects of Short-Term Very Low Calorie Diet on Intramyocellular Lipid and Insulin Sensitivity in Non-diabetics and Type 2 Diabetic Patients 
To study the effects of a short-term very-low calorie diet (VLCD) on intramyocellular lipid (IMCL), total body fat, and insulin sensitivity in a group of obese non-diabetic and Type 2 Diabetic (T2DM) patients.
Research Methods and Procedures
Seven untreated T2DM and 5 obese non-diabetic individuals were studied before and after a 6-day VLCD using proton-magnetic resonance spectroscopy to quantify IMCL, DXA to assess body fat, and hyperinsulinemic-euglycemic clamps to measure peripheral insulin sensitivity.
In both groups, decrements in total body fat mass and BMI were small but statistically significant. In contrast, the diet resulted in a pronounced reduction in IMCL compared to baseline values in non-diabetics (56% decrease) and T2DM (40% decrease), P<0.05, and this was accompanied by an overall 9.3% increase in maximally-stimulated glucose disposal rate (P<0.01). IMCL was significantly correlated with insulin sensitivity, (r=−0.69; P<0.01) and waist circumference (r = 0.72 and 0.83, baseline and post-diet respectively, both P < 0.01), but neither IMCL nor insulin sensitivity was related to measures of general adiposity such as BMI, % body fat, or total body fat (P=NS).
Short-term VLCD is accompanied by small decrements in general adiposity, marked decrease in IMCL, and an increase in insulin sensitivity in non-diabetic and T2DM subjects. Therefore, rapid amelioration of insulin resistance by VLCD can be partially explained by loss of IMCL in both non-diabetics and in T2DM in the absence of substantial changes in total body fat. These observations are consistent with the idea that insulin resistance is more directly related to IMCL rather than body fat per se.
PMCID: PMC2271155  PMID: 18078853
body fat distribution; caloric restriction; metabolic syndrome
11.  Reversal of Nonalcoholic Hepatic Steatosis, Hepatic Insulin Resistance, and Hyperglycemia by Moderate Weight Reduction in Patients With Type 2 Diabetes 
Diabetes  2005;54(3):603-608.
To examine the mechanism by which moderate weight reduction improves basal and insulin-stimulated rates of glucose metabolism in patients with type 2 diabetes, we used 1H magnetic resonance spectroscopy to assess intrahepatic lipid (IHL) and intramyocellular lipid (IMCL) content in conjunction with hyperinsulinemic-euglycemic clamps using [6,6-2H2]glucose to assess rates of glucose production and insulin-stimulated peripheral glucose uptake. Eight obese patients with type 2 diabetes were studied before and after weight stabilization on a moderately hypocaloric very-low-fat diet (3%). The diabetic patients were markedly insulin resistant in both liver and muscle compared with the lean control subjects. These changes were associated with marked increases in IHL (12.2 ± 3.4 vs. 0.6 ± 0.1%; P = 0.02) and IMCL (2.0 ± 0.3 vs. 1.2 ± 0.1%; P = 0.02) compared with the control subjects. A weight loss of only ~8 kg resulted in normalization of fasting plasma glucose concentrations (8.8 ± 0.5 vs. 6.4 ± 0.3 mmol/l; P < 0.0005), rates of basal glucose production (193 ± 7 vs. 153 ± 10 mg/min; P < 0.0005), and the percentage suppression of hepatic glucose production during the clamp (29 ± 22 vs. 99 ± 3%; P = 0.003). These improvements in basal and insulin-stimulated hepatic glucose metabolism were associated with an 81 ± 4% reduction in IHL (P = 0.0009) but no significant change in insulin-stimulated peripheral glucose uptake or IMCL (2.0 ± 0.3 vs. 1.9 ± 0.3%; P = 0.21). In conclusion, these data support the hypothesis that moderate weight loss normalizes fasting hyperglycemia in patients with poorly controlled type 2 diabetes by mobilizing a relatively small pool of IHL, which reverses hepatic insulin resistance and normalizes rates of basal glucose production, independent of any changes in insulin-stimulated peripheral glucose metabolism.
PMCID: PMC2995496  PMID: 15734833
12.  Effect of short-term exercise training on intramyocellular lipid content 
The purpose of this study was to investigate the influence of exercise training on intramyocellular lipid (IMCL) content and test the hypothesis that the effect of endurance-oriented exercise training on IMCL is dependent on characteristics of the population studied. Lean (N = 11, body mass index (BMI) = 22.2 ± 0.7 kg·m−2), obese (N = 14, BMI = 38.8 ± 1.7 kg·m−2), and type 2 diabetic (N = 9, BMI = 35.5 ± 2.5 kg·m−2) participants were examined before and after 10 consecutive days of endurance-oriented (60 min·day−1 at ~70% V̇ O2peak) exercise training. IMCL and muscle glycogen were measured by Oil-Red-O and periodic acid – Schiff staining, respectively. The results indicated that IMCL was elevated (p < 0.05) in the obese and diabetic groups compared with the lean subjects prior to training. After training, IMCL content decreased (−35%) in the participants with type 2 diabetes; there were no changes in IMCL in the lean or obese groups. Muscle glycogen content was lower in the diabetic subjects than in the lean subjects both before and after training. These data indicate that changes in IMCL with exercise training do not exhibit a universal response but rather depend on the metabolic status of the population studied.
PMCID: PMC3589127  PMID: 22691059
lipid metabolism; muscle glycogen; skeletal muscle; triglycerides
13.  The Effect of Aerobic Exercise on Intrahepatocellular and Intramyocellular Lipids in Healthy Subjects 
PLoS ONE  2013;8(8):e70865.
Intrahepatocellular (IHCL) and intramyocellular (IMCL) lipids are ectopic lipid stores. Aerobic exercise results in IMCL utilization in subjects over a broad range of exercise capacity. IMCL and IHCL have been related to impaired insulin action at the skeletal muscle and hepatic level, respectively. The acute effect of aerobic exercise on IHCL is unknown. Possible regulatory factors include exercise capacity, insulin sensitivity and fat availability subcutaneous and visceral fat mass).
To concomitantly investigate the effect of aerobic exercise on IHCL and IMCL in healthy subjects, using Magnetic Resonance spectroscopy.
Normal weight, healthy subjects were included. Visit 1 consisted of a determination of VO2max on a treadmill. Visit 2 comprised the assessment of hepatic and peripheral insulin sensitivity by a two-step hyperinsulinaemic euglycaemic clamp. At Visit 3, subcutaneous and visceral fat mass were assessed by whole body MRI, IHCL and IMCL before and after a 2-hours aerobic exercise (50% of VO2max) using 1H-MR-spectroscopy.
Eighteen volunteers (12M, 6F) were enrolled in the study (age, 37.6±3.2 years, mean±SEM; VO2max, 53.4±2.9 mL/kg/min). Two hours aerobic exercise resulted in a significant decrease in IMCL (−22.6±3.3, % from baseline) and increase in IHCL (+34.9±7.6, % from baseline). There was no significant correlation between the exercise-induced changes in IMCL and IHCL and exercise capacity, subcutaneous and visceral fat mass and hepatic or peripheral insulin sensitivity.
IMCL and IHCL are flexible ectopic lipid stores that are acutely influenced by physical exercise, albeit in different directions.
Trial Registration NCT00491582
PMCID: PMC3743875  PMID: 23967125
14.  Body and Liver Fat Mass Rather Than Muscle Mitochondrial Function Determine Glucose Metabolism in Women With a History of Gestational Diabetes Mellitus 
Diabetes Care  2011;34(2):430-436.
Ectopic lipid storage in muscle (intramyocellular lipids [IMCL]) and liver (hepatocellular lipids [HCL]) coexists with impaired myocellular flux through ATP synthase (fATPase) in certain cohorts with increased risk of type 2 diabetes. Because women with a history of gestational diabetes mellitus (pGDM) have elevated ectopic lipids and diabetes risk, we tested whether deteriorated energy metabolism contributes to these abnormalities.
A total of 23 glucose-tolerant nonobese pGDM and eight women with normal glucose metabolism during pregnancy with similar age, body mass, and physical activity underwent oral glucose tolerance tests (OGTT) and intravenous glucose tolerance tests at 4–5 years after delivery. OGTT values <463 mL ⋅ min−1 ⋅ m−2 were considered to indicate insulin resistance. pGDM were further stratified into insulin-resistant (pGDM-IR) and insulin-sensitive (pGDM-IS) groups. IMCL, HCL, and fATPase were measured with 1H/31P magnetic resonance spectroscopy.
pGDM had 36% higher fat mass and 12% lower insulin sensitivity. Log-transformed fATPase was lower in pGDM (10.6 ± 3.8 µmol ⋅ mL muscle−1 ⋅ min−1 vs. 12.1 ± 1.4 µmol ⋅ mL muscle−1 ⋅ min−1, P < 0.03) and related to plasma adiponectin after adjustment for body fat (r = 0.44, P < 0.04). IMCL were 61% and 69% higher in pGDM-IR (P < 0.05 vs. pGDM-IS) and insulin resistant women (P < 0.003 vs. insulin sensitive), respectively. HCL were doubled (P < 0.05) in pGDM and insulin resistant women, and correlated positively with body fat mass (r = 0.50, P < 0.01) and inversely with insulin sensitivity (r = −0.46, P < 0.05).
Glucose-tolerant pGDM show increased liver fat but only slightly lower muscular insulin sensitivity and ATP synthesis. This suggests that alteration of hepatic lipid storage represents an early and predominant abnormality in this cohort.
PMCID: PMC3024362  PMID: 20978097
15.  Characterization of Intra-myocellular Lipids using 2D Localized Correlated Spectroscopy and Abdominal Fat using MRI in Type 2 Diabetes 
A major goal of this pilot study was to quantify intramyocellular lipids (IMCL), extramyocellular lipids (EMCL), unsaturation index (UI) and metabolites such as creatine (Cr), choline (Ch) and carnosine (Car), in the soleus muscle using two-dimensional (2D) localized correlated spectroscopy (L-COSY). Ten subjects with type 2 diabetes (T2D), controlled by lifestyle management alone, and 9 healthy control subjects, were studied. In T2D patients only, the following measurements were obtained: body mass index (BMI); waist circumference (WC); abdominal visceral and subcutaneous fat quantified using breath-held magnetic resonance imaging (MRI); a fasting blood draw for assessment of glucose, insulin, and estimation of homeostasis model assessment of insulin resistance (HOMA-IR), HbA1c, and high-sensitivity c-reactive protein (hs-CRP). Analysis of the soleus muscle 2D L-COSY spectral data showed significantly elevated IMCL ratios with respect to Cr and decreased IMCL UI in T2D when compared to healthy subjects (P < 0.05). In T2D subjects, Pearson correlation analysis showed a positive correlation of IMCL/Cr with EMCL/Cr (0.679, P < 0.05) and HOMA-IR (0.633, P < 0.05), and a non-significant correlation of visceral and subcutaneous fat with magnetic resonance spectroscopy (MRS) and other metrics. Characterization of muscle IMCL and EMCL ratios, UI, and abdominal fat, may be useful for the noninvasive assessment of the role of altered lipid metabolism in the pathophysiology of T2D, and for assessment of the effects of future therapeutic interventions designed to alter metabolic dysfunction in T2D.
PMCID: PMC3589142  PMID: 23471581
intramyocellular lipids; extramyocellular lipids; visceral fat; subcutaneous fat; 2D L-COSY; muscle metabolites
16.  Perilipin 2 Improves Insulin Sensitivity in Skeletal Muscle Despite Elevated Intramuscular Lipid Levels 
Diabetes  2012;61(11):2679-2690.
Type 2 diabetes is characterized by excessive lipid storage in skeletal muscle. Excessive intramyocellular lipid (IMCL) storage exceeds intracellular needs and induces lipotoxic events, ultimately contributing to the development of insulin resistance. Lipid droplet (LD)–coating proteins may control proper lipid storage in skeletal muscle. Perilipin 2 (PLIN2/adipose differentiation–related protein [ADRP]) is one of the most abundantly expressed LD-coating proteins in skeletal muscle. Here we examined the role of PLIN2 in myocellular lipid handling and insulin sensitivity by investigating the effects of in vitro PLIN2 knockdown and in vitro and in vivo overexpression. PLIN2 knockdown decreased LD formation and triacylglycerol (TAG) storage, marginally increased fatty-acid (FA) oxidation, and increased incorporation of palmitate into diacylglycerols and phospholipids. PLIN2 overexpression in vitro increased intramyocellular TAG storage paralleled with improved insulin sensitivity. In vivo muscle-specific PLIN2 overexpression resulted in increased LD accumulation and blunted the high-fat diet–induced increase in protein content of the subunits of the oxidative phosphorylation (OXPHOS) chain. Diacylglycerol levels were unchanged, whereas ceramide levels were increased. Despite the increased IMCL accumulation, PLIN2 overexpression improved skeletal muscle insulin sensitivity. We conclude that PLIN2 is essential for lipid storage in skeletal muscle by enhancing the partitioning of excess FAs toward TAG storage in LDs, thereby blunting lipotoxicity-associated insulin resistance.
PMCID: PMC3478528  PMID: 22807032
17.  Chronic Peripheral Hyperinsulinemia in Type 1 Diabetic Patients After Successful Combined Pancreas-Kidney Transplantation Does Not Affect Ectopic Lipid Accumulation in Skeletal Muscle and Liver 
Diabetes  2009;59(1):215-218.
So far it is unclear whether chronic peripheral hyperinsulinemia per se might contribute to ectopic lipid accumulation and consequently insulin resistance. We investigated the effects of systemic instead of portal insulin release in type 1 diabetic patients after successful pancreas-kidney transplantation (PKT) with systemic venous drainage on the intracellular lipid content in liver and soleus muscle, endogenous glucose production (EGP), and insulin sensitivity.
In nine PKT patients and nine matching nondiabetic control subjects, intrahepatocellular lipids (IHCLs) and intramyocellular lipids (IMCLs) were measured using 1H nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy. Fasting EGP was measured using d-[6,6-2H2]glucose tracer dilution. A 3-h 75-g oral glucose tolerance test (OGTT) allowed us to assess kinetics of glucose, free fatty acids, insulin, and C-peptide concentrations in plasma and to calculate the clamp-like index (CLIX) for insulin sensitivity and the hepatic insulin resistance (HIR) index.
The PKT patients displayed approximately twofold increased fasting insulin (20 ± 6 vs. 9 ± 3 μU/ml; P < 0.0002) compared with that in nondiabetic control subjects and ∼10% increased fasting glucose (P < 0.02) concentrations, but during the OGTT areas under the concentration curves of C-peptide and insulin were similar. IHCL (PKT, 2.9 ± 2.5%; nondiabetic control subjects, 4.4 ± 6.6%), IMCL (PKT, 1.0 ± 0.4%; nondiabetic control subjects, 1.0 ± 0.5%), CLIX (PKT, 8 ± 2; nondiabetic control subjects, 7 ± 3), HIR (PKT, 25.6 ± 13.2; nondiabetic control subjects, 35.6 ± 20 [mg · min−1 · kg−1] × [μU/ml]), and EGP (PKT, 1.6 ± 0.2; nondiabetic control subjects, 1.7 ± 0.2 mg · min−1 · kg−1) were comparable between PKT patients and nondiabetic control subjects. IHCL was negatively correlated with CLIX in all participants (r = −0.55; P < 0.04).
Despite fasting peripheral hyperinsulinemia because of systemic venous drainage, type 1 diabetic patients after PKT show similar IHCL, IMCL, insulin sensitivity, and fasting EGP in comparison with nondiabetic control subjects. These results suggest that systemic hyperinsulinemia per se does not cause ectopic lipid accumulation in liver and skeletal muscle.
PMCID: PMC2797924  PMID: 19833878
18.  Interethnic Differences in Muscle, Liver and Abdominal Fat Partitioning in Obese Adolescents 
PLoS ONE  2007;2(6):e569.
The prevalence of insulin resistance and type 2 diabetes (T2D) in obese youth is rapidly increasing, especially in Hispanics and African Americans compared to Caucasians. Insulin resistance is known to be associated with increases in intramyocellular (IMCL) and hepatic fat content. We determined if there are ethnic differences in IMCL and hepatic fat content in a multiethnic cohort of 55 obese adolescents. We used 1H magnetic resonance spectroscopy (MRS) to quantify IMCL levels in the soleus muscle, oral glucose tolerance testing to estimate insulin sensitivity, magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) to measure abdominal fat distribution. Liver fat content was measured by fast–MRI. Despite similar age and % total body fat among the groups, IMCL was significantly higher in the Hispanics (1.71% [1.43%, 2.0%]) than in the African-Americans (1.04% [0.75%, 1.34%], p = 0.013) and the Caucasians (1.2% [0.94%, 1.5%], p = 0.04). Liver fat content was undetectable in the African Americans whereas it was two fold higher than normal in both Caucasians and Hispanics. Visceral fat was significantly lower in African Americans (41.5 cm2 [34.6, 49.6]) and was similar in Caucasians (65.2 cm2 [55.9, 76.0]) and Hispanics (70.5 cm2 [59.9, 83.1]). In a multiple regression analysis, we found that ethnicity independent of age, gender and % body fat accounts for 10% of the difference in IMCL. Our study indicates that obese Hispanic adolescents have a greater IMCL lipid content than both Caucasians and African Americans, of comparable weight, age and gender. Excessive accumulation of fat in the liver was found in both Caucasian and Hispanic groups as opposed to virtually undetectable levels in the African Americans. Thus, irrespective of obesity, there seem to be some clear ethnic differences in the amount of lipid accumulated in skeletal muscle, liver and abdominal cavity.
PMCID: PMC1892806  PMID: 17593968
19.  Exercise and diet enhance fat oxidation and reduce insulin resistance in older obese adults 
Journal of applied physiology (Bethesda, Md. : 1985)  2008;104(5):10.1152/japplphysiol.00890.2007.
Older, obese, and sedentary individuals are at high risk of developing diabetes and cardiovascular disease. Exercise training improves metabolic anomalies associated with such diseases, but the effects of caloric restriction in addition to exercise in such a high risk group are not known. Changes in body composition and metabolism during a lifestyle intervention were investigated in twenty three older, obese men and women (aged 66 ± 1 years, BMI 33.2 ± 1.4 kg.m−2) with impaired glucose tolerance. All volunteers undertook twelve weeks of aerobic exercise training (5 days per week for 60 min @ 75% VO2max) with either normal caloric intake (eucaloric group, 1901 ± 277−1, n = 12) or a reduced-calorie diet (hypocaloric group, 1307 ± 70−1, n = 11), as dictated by nutritional counseling. Body composition (decreased fat mass; maintained fat-free mass), aerobic fitness (VO2max), leptinemia, insulin sensitivity, and intramyocellular lipid accumulation (IMCL) in skeletal muscle improved in both groups (P < 0.05). Improvements in body composition, leptin and basal fat oxidation were greater in the hypocaloric group. Following the intervention there was a correlation between the increase in basal fat oxidation and the decrease in IMCL (r = −0.53, P = 0.04). In addition, basal fat oxidation was associated with circulating leptin after (r = 0.65, P = 0.0007), but not before the intervention (r = 0.05, P = 0.84). In conclusion, these data show that exercise training improves resting substrate oxidation and creates a metabolic milieu that appears to promote lipid utilization in skeletal muscle, thus facilitating a reversal of insulin resistance. We also demonstrate that leptin sensitivity is improved, but that such a trend may rely on reducing caloric intake in addition to exercise training.
PMCID: PMC3860368  PMID: 18323464
obesity; leptin; substrate oxidation; insulin sensitivity
20.  Exercise training increases mitochondrial content and ex vivo mitochondrial function similarly in patients with type 2 diabetes and in control individuals 
Diabetologia  2010;53(8):1714-1721.
We previously showed that type 2 diabetic patients are characterised by compromised intrinsic mitochondrial function. Here, we examined if exercise training could increase intrinsic mitochondrial function in diabetic patients compared with control individuals.
Fifteen male type 2 diabetic patients and 14 male control individuals matched for age, BMI and \documentclass[12pt]{minimal} \usepackage{amsmath} \usepackage{wasysym} \usepackage{amsfonts} \usepackage{amssymb} \usepackage{amsbsy} \usepackage{mathrsfs} \usepackage{upgreek} \setlength{\oddsidemargin}{-69pt} \begin{document}$$ \dot{V}{{\hbox{O}}_{2{ \max }}} $$\end{document} enrolled in a 12 week exercise intervention programme. Ex vivo mitochondrial function was assessed by high-resolution respirometry in permeabilised muscle fibres from vastus lateralis muscle. Before and after training, insulin-stimulated glucose disposal was examined during a hyperinsulinaemic–euglycaemic clamp.
Diabetic patients had intrinsically lower ADP-stimulated state 3 respiration and lower carbonyl cyanide 4-(trifluoro-methoxy)phenylhydrazone (FCCP)-induced maximal oxidative respiration, both on glutamate and on glutamate and succinate, and in the presence of palmitoyl-carnitine (p < 0.05). After training, diabetic patients and control individuals showed increased state 3 respiration on the previously mentioned substrates (p < 0.05); however, an increase in FCCP-induced maximal oxidative respiration was observed only in diabetic patients (p < 0.05). The increase in mitochondrial respiration was accompanied by a 30% increase in mitochondrial content upon training (p < 0.01). After adjustment for mitochondrial density, state 3 and FCCP-induced maximal oxidative respiration were similar between groups after training. Improvements in mitochondrial respiration were paralleled by improvements in insulin-stimulated glucose disposal in diabetic patients, with a tendency for this in control individuals.
We confirmed lower intrinsic mitochondrial function in diabetic patients compared with control individuals. Diabetic patients increased their mitochondrial content to the same extent as control individuals and had similar intrinsic mitochondrial function, which occurred parallel with improved insulin sensitivity.
PMCID: PMC2892060  PMID: 20422397
Type 2 diabetes; Insulin resistance; Mitochondrial dysfunction; Exercise training
21.  Relationship of Intramyocellular Lipid to Insulin Sensitivity May Differ With Ethnicity in Healthy Girls and Women 
Obesity (Silver Spring, Md.)  2010;19(1):43-48.
The prevalence of type 2 diabetes is greater among African Americans (AA) vs. European Americans (EA), independent of obesity and lifestyle. We tested the hypothesis that intramyocellular lipid (IMCL) or extramycellular lipid (EMCL) would be associated with insulin sensitivity among healthy young women, and that the associations would differ with ethnic background. We also explored the hypothesis that adipokines and estradiol would be associated with muscle lipid content. Participants were 57 healthy, normoglycemic, women and girls mean age 26 (±10) years; mean BMI 27.3 (±4.8) kg/m2; 32 AA, 25 EA. Soleus IMCL and EMCL were assessed with 1H magnetic resonance spectroscopy (MRS); insulin sensitivity with an insulin-modified frequently sampled intravenous glucose tolerance test and minimal modeling; body composition with dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry; and intra-abdominal adipose tissue (IAAT) with computed tomography. Adiponectin, leptin, and estradiol were assessed in fasting sera. Analyses indicated that EMCL, but not IMCL, was greater in AA vs. EA (2.55 ± 0.16 vs. 1.98 ± 0.18 arbitrary units, respectively, P < 0.05; adjusted for total body fat). IMCL was associated with insulin sensitivity in EA (r = −0.54, P < 0.05, adjusted for total fat, IAAT, and age), but not AA (r = 0.16, P = 0.424). IMCL was inversely associated with adiponectin (r = −0.31, P < 0.05, adjusted for ethnicity, age, total fat, and IAAT). In conclusion, IMCL was a significant determinant of insulin sensitivity among healthy, young, EA but not AA women. Further research is needed to determine whether the component lipids of IMCL (e.g., diacylglycerol (DAG) or ceramide) are associated with insulin sensitivity in an ethnicity-specific manner.
PMCID: PMC3204213  PMID: 20559297
22.  Increased intramyocellular lipid accumulation in HIV-infected women with fat redistribution 
The human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)-lipodystrophy syndrome is associated with fat redistribution and metabolic abnormalities, including insulin resistance. Increased intramyocellular lipid (IMCL) concentrations are thought to contribute to insulin resistance, being linked to metabolic and body composition variables. We examined 46 women: HIV infected with fat redistribution (n = 25), and age- and body mass index-matched HIV-negative controls (n = 21). IMCL was measured by 1H-magnetic resonance spectroscopy, and body composition was assessed with computed tomography, dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry (DEXA), and magnetic resonance imaging. Plasma lipid profile and markers of glucose homeostasis were obtained. IMCL was significantly increased in tibialis anterior [135.0 ± 11.5 vs. 85.1 ± 13.2 institutional units (IU); P = 0.007] and soleus [643.7 ± 61.0 vs. 443.6 ± 47.2 IU, P = 0.017] of HIV-infected subjects compared with controls. Among HIV-infected subjects, calf subcutaneous fat area (17.8 ± 2.3 vs. 35.0 ± 2.5 cm2, P < 0.0001) and extremity fat by DEXA (11.8 ± 1.1 vs. 15.6 ± 1.2 kg, P = 0.024) were reduced, whereas visceral abdominal fat (125.2 ± 11.3 vs. 74.4 ± 12.3 cm2, P = 0.004), triglycerides (131.1 ± 11.0 vs. 66.3 ± 12.3 mg/dl, P = 0.0003), and fasting insulin (10.8 ± 0.9 vs. 7.0 ± 0.9 μIU/ml, P = 0.004) were increased compared with control subjects. Triglycerides (r = 0.39, P = 0.05) and extremity fat as percentage of whole body fat by DEXA (r = −0.51, P = 0.01) correlated significantly with IMCL in the HIV but not the control group. Extremity fat (β = −633.53, P = 0.03) remained significantly associated with IMCL among HIV-infected patients, controlling for visceral abdominal fat, abdominal subcutaneous fat, and antiretroviral medications in a regression model. These data demonstrate increased IMCL in HIV-infected women with a mixed lipodystrophy pattern, being most significantly associated with reduced extremity fat. Further studies are necessary to determine the relationship between extremity fat loss and increased IMCL in HIV-infected women.
PMCID: PMC3205444  PMID: 16223978
magnetic resonance spectroscopy; insulin resistance; protease inhibitor; acquired immunodeficiency syndrome
23.  Reduced Basal ATP Synthetic Flux of Skeletal Muscle in Patients with Previous Acromegaly 
PLoS ONE  2008;3(12):e3958.
Impaired mitochondrial function and ectopic lipid deposition in skeletal muscle and liver have been linked to decreased insulin sensitivity. As growth hormone (GH) excess can reduce insulin sensitivity, we examined the impact of previous acromegaly (AM) on glucose metabolism, lipid storage and muscular ATP turnover.
Participants and Methods
Seven AM (4f/3 m, age: 46±4 years, BMI: 28±1 kg/m2) and healthy volunteers (CON: 3f/4 m, 43±4 years, 26±2 kg/m2) matched for age and body mass underwent oral glucose testing for assessment of insulin sensitivity (OGIS) and ß-cell function (adaptation index, ADAP). Whole body oxidative capacity was measured with indirect calorimetry and spiroergometry. Unidirectional ATP synthetic flux (fATP) was assessed from 31P magnetic resonance spectroscopy (MRS) of calf muscle. Lipid contents of tibialis anterior (IMCLt) and soleus muscles (IMCLs) and liver (HCL) were measured with 1H MRS.
Despite comparable GH, insulin-like growth factor-1 (IGF-I) and insulin sensitivity, AM had ∼85% lower ADAP (p<0.01) and ∼21% reduced VO2max (p<0.05). fATP was similarly ∼25% lower in AM (p<0.05) and related positively to ADAP (r = 0.744, p<0.01), but negatively to BMI (r = −0.582, p<0.05). AM had ∼3fold higher HCL (p<0.05) while IMCLt and IMCLs did not differ between the groups.
Humans with a history of acromegaly exhibit reduced insulin secretion, muscular ATP synthesis and oxidative capacity but elevated liver fat content. This suggests that alterations in ß-cell function and myocellular ATP production may persist despite normalization of GH secretion after successful treatment of acromegaly.
PMCID: PMC2599885  PMID: 19093000
24.  Relationship between Insulin Sensitivity and Muscle Lipids may Differ with Muscle Group and Ethnicity 
The open obesity journal  2010;2:137-144.
Intramyocellular lipid (IMCL) has been inversely associated with insulin sensitivity in some, but not all, studies. This study utilized fast, high-resolution, magnetic resonance spectroscopic imaging (MRSI) to: investigate relationships between muscle lipids (IMCL and extramyocellular lipid (EMCL)) and insulin sensitivity in muscles of varying oxidative capacity, explore ethnic differences in these relationships, and determine whether a eucaloric, low-fat dietary intervention would reduce IMCL and increase insulin sensitivity. Subjects were 30 healthy, African-American (AA; n=14) and European-American (EA; n=16) males, BMI 26.49 (±5.57) kg/m2, age 21.80 (±7.84) yrs. Soleus and tibialis anterior muscle lipids were quantified using MRSI. Insulin sensitivity was assessed via intravenous glucose tolerance test. A 2-week, eucaloric, low-fat diet intervention was conducted in a sub-group (n=12) subjects with assessments at baseline and post-intervention. Neither IMCL nor EMCL levels differed between ethnicities. In the total group, and within EA (but not AA), both tibialis anterior IMCL and EMCL were inversely associated with insulin sensitivity (P<0.05 for both); soleus muscle lipids were not associated with insulin sensitivity. Soleus, but not tibialis anterior, IMCL declined in both ethnic groups (average 25.3%; p<0.01) following dietary intervention; insulin sensitivity was unchanged. Results suggest that an association of muscle lipids with insulin sensitivity may be influenced by the oxidative capacity of the muscle group studied and may vary with ethnicity.
PMCID: PMC3202241  PMID: 22039395
Muscle lipids; intramyocellular lipid; MRSI; ethnicity; insulin sensitivity
25.  Impaired Mitochondrial Function and Insulin Resistance of Skeletal Muscle in Mitochondrial Diabetes 
Diabetes Care  2009;32(4):677-679.
Impaired muscular mitochondrial function is related to common insulin resistance in type 2 diabetes. Mitochondrial diseases frequently lead to diabetes, which is mostly attributed to defective β-cell mitochondria and secretion.
We assessed muscular mitochondrial function and lipid deposition in liver (hepatocellular lipids [HCLs]) and muscle (intramyocellular lipids [IMCLs]) using 31P/1H magnetic resonance spectroscopy and insulin sensitivity and endogenous glucose production (EGP) using hyperinsulinemic-euglycemic clamps combined with isotopic tracer dilution in one female patient suffering from MELAS (myopathy, encephalopathy, lactic acidosis, and stroke-like episodes) syndrome and in six control subjects.
The MELAS patient showed impaired insulin sensitivity (4.3 vs. 8.6 ± 0.5 mg · kg−1 · min−1) and suppression of EGP (69 vs. 94 ± 1%), and her baseline and insulin-stimulated ATP synthesis were reduced (7.3 and 8.9 vs. 10.6 ± 1.0 and 12.8 ± 1.3 μmol · l−1 · min−1) compared with those of the control subjects. HCLs and IMCLs were comparable between the MELAS patient and control subjects.
Impairment of muscle mitochondrial fitness promotes insulin resistance and could thereby contribute to the development of diabetes in some patients with the MELAS syndrome.
PMCID: PMC2660467  PMID: 19131470

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