Insulin resistance condition is associated to the development of several syndromes, such as obesity, type 2 diabetes mellitus and metabolic syndrome. Although the factors linking insulin resistance to these syndromes are not precisely defined yet, evidence suggests that the elevated plasma free fatty acid (FFA) level plays an important role in the development of skeletal muscle insulin resistance. Accordantly, in vivo and in vitro exposure of skeletal muscle and myocytes to physiological concentrations of saturated fatty acids is associated with insulin resistance condition. Several mechanisms have been postulated to account for fatty acids-induced muscle insulin resistance, including Randle cycle, oxidative stress, inflammation and mitochondrial dysfunction. Here we reviewed experimental evidence supporting the involvement of each of these propositions in the development of skeletal muscle insulin resistance induced by saturated fatty acids and propose an integrative model placing mitochondrial dysfunction as an important and common factor to the other mechanisms.
Skeletal muscle; Insulin resistance; Saturated fatty acids; Mitochondrial dysfunction
We examined the role of butyric acid, a short-chain fatty acid formed by fermentation in the large intestine, in the regulation of insulin sensitivity in mice fed a high-fat diet.
RESEARCH DESIGN AND METHODS
In dietary-obese C57BL/6J mice, sodium butyrate was administrated through diet supplementation at 5% wt/wt in the high-fat diet. Insulin sensitivity was examined with insulin tolerance testing and homeostasis model assessment for insulin resistance. Energy metabolism was monitored in a metabolic chamber. Mitochondrial function was investigated in brown adipocytes and skeletal muscle in the mice.
On the high-fat diet, supplementation of butyrate prevented development of insulin resistance and obesity in C57BL/6 mice. Fasting blood glucose, fasting insulin, and insulin tolerance were all preserved in the treated mice. Body fat content was maintained at 10% without a reduction in food intake. Adaptive thermogenesis and fatty acid oxidation were enhanced. An increase in mitochondrial function and biogenesis was observed in skeletal muscle and brown fat. The type I fiber was enriched in skeletal muscle. Peroxisome proliferator–activated receptor-γ coactivator-1α expression was elevated at mRNA and protein levels. AMP kinase and p38 activities were elevated. In the obese mice, supplementation of butyrate led to an increase in insulin sensitivity and a reduction in adiposity.
Dietary supplementation of butyrate can prevent and treat diet-induced insulin resistance in mouse. The mechanism of butyrate action is related to promotion of energy expenditure and induction of mitochondria function.
Type 2 diabetes mellitus and muscle insulin resistance have been associated with reduced capacity of skeletal muscle mitochondria, possibly as a result of increased intake of dietary fat. Here, we examined the hypothesis that a prolonged high-fat diet consumption (HFD) increases the saturation of muscle mitochondrial membrane phospholipids causing impaired mitochondrial oxidative capacity and possibly insulin resistance.
C57BL/6J mice were fed an 8-week or 20-week low fat diet (10 kcal%; LFD) or HFD (45 kcal%). Skeletal muscle mitochondria were isolated and fatty acid (FA) composition of skeletal muscle mitochondrial phospholipids was analyzed by thin-layer chromatography followed by GC. High-resolution respirometry was used to assess oxidation of pyruvate and fatty acids by mitochondria. Insulin sensitivity was estimated by HOMA-IR.
At 8 weeks, mono-unsaturated FA (16∶1n7, 18∶1n7 and 18∶1n9) were decreased (−4.0%, p<0.001), whereas saturated FA (16∶0) were increased (+3.2%, p<0.001) in phospholipids of HFD vs. LFD mitochondria. Interestingly, 20 weeks of HFD descreased mono-unsaturated FA while n-6 poly-unsaturated FA (18∶2n6, 20∶4n6, 22∶5n6) showed a pronounced increase (+4.0%, p<0.001). Despite increased saturation of muscle mitochondrial phospholipids after the 8-week HFD, mitochondrial oxidation of both pyruvate and fatty acids were similar between LFD and HFD mice. After 20 weeks of HFD, the increase in n-6 poly-unsaturated FA was accompanied by enhanced maximal capacity of the electron transport chain (+49%, p = 0.002) and a tendency for increased ADP-stimulated respiration, but only when fuelled by a lipid-derived substrate. Insulin sensitivity in HFD mice was reduced at both 8 and 20 weeks.
Our findings do not support the concept that prolonged HF feeding leads to increased saturation of skeletal muscle mitochondrial phospholipids resulting in a decrease in mitochondrial fat oxidative capacity and (muscle) insulin resistance.
Mitochondrial dysfunction in skeletal muscle has been implicated in the development of type 2 diabetes. However, whether these changes are a cause or a consequence of insulin resistance is not clear. We investigated the structure and function of muscle mitochondria during the development of insulin resistance and progression to diabetes in mice fed a high-fat, high-sucrose diet. Although 1 month of high-fat, high-sucrose diet feeding was sufficient to induce glucose intolerance, mice showed no evidence of mitochondrial dysfunction at this stage. However, an extended diet intervention induced a diabetic state in which we observed altered mitochondrial biogenesis, structure, and function in muscle tissue. We assessed the role of oxidative stress in the development of these mitochondrial abnormalities and found that diet-induced diabetic mice had an increase in ROS production in skeletal muscle. In addition, ROS production was associated with mitochondrial alterations in the muscle of hyperglycemic streptozotocin-treated mice, and normalization of glycemia or antioxidant treatment decreased muscle ROS production and restored mitochondrial integrity. Glucose- or lipid-induced ROS production resulted in mitochondrial alterations in muscle cells in vitro, and these effects were blocked by antioxidant treatment. These data suggest that mitochondrial alterations do not precede the onset of insulin resistance and result from increased ROS production in muscle in diet-induced diabetic mice.
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.
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.
These data suggest that a combination of mitochondrial targeting nutrients may improve skeletal mitochondrial dysfunction and exert hypoglycemic effects, without causing weight gain.
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.
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.
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.
Mitochondrial dysfunction in skeletal muscle has been implicated in the development of insulin resistance and type 2 diabetes. Considering the importance of mitochondrial dynamics in mitochondrial and cellular functions, we hypothesized that obesity and excess energy intake shift the balance of mitochondrial dynamics, further contributing to mitochondrial dysfunction and metabolic deterioration in skeletal muscle. First, we revealed that excess palmitate (PA), but not hyperglycemia, hyperinsulinemia, or elevated tumor necrosis factor alpha, induced mitochondrial fragmentation and increased mitochondrion-associated Drp1 and Fis1 in differentiated C2C12 muscle cells. This fragmentation was associated with increased oxidative stress, mitochondrial depolarization, loss of ATP production, and reduced insulin-stimulated glucose uptake. Both genetic and pharmacological inhibition of Drp1 attenuated PA-induced mitochondrial fragmentation, mitochondrial depolarization, and insulin resistance in C2C12 cells. Furthermore, we found smaller and shorter mitochondria and increased mitochondrial fission machinery in the skeletal muscle of mice with genetic obesity and those with diet-induced obesity. Inhibition of mitochondrial fission improved the muscle insulin signaling and systemic insulin sensitivity of obese mice. Our findings indicated that aberrant mitochondrial fission is causally associated with mitochondrial dysfunction and insulin resistance in skeletal muscle. Thus, disruption of mitochondrial dynamics may underlie the pathogenesis of muscle insulin resistance in obesity and type 2 diabetes.
High dietary fat intake leads to insulin resistance in skeletal muscle, and this represents a major risk factor for type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease. Mitochondrial dysfunction and oxidative stress have been implicated in the disease process, but the underlying mechanisms are still unknown. Here we show that in skeletal muscle of both rodents and humans, a diet high in fat increases the H2O2-emitting potential of mitochondria, shifts the cellular redox environment to a more oxidized state, and decreases the redox-buffering capacity in the absence of any change in mitochondrial respiratory function. Furthermore, we show that attenuating mitochondrial H2O2 emission, either by treating rats with a mitochondrial-targeted antioxidant or by genetically engineering the overexpression of catalase in mitochondria of muscle in mice, completely preserves insulin sensitivity despite a high-fat diet. These findings place the etiology of insulin resistance in the context of mitochondrial bioenergetics by demonstrating that mitochondrial H2O2 emission serves as both a gauge of energy balance and a regulator of cellular redox environment, linking intracellular metabolic balance to the control of insulin sensitivity.
OBJECTIVE—Fluxes through mitochondrial pathways are defective in insulin-resistant skeletal muscle, but it is unclear whether similar mitochondrial defects play a role in the liver during insulin resistance and/or diabetes. The purpose of this study is to determine whether abnormal mitochondrial metabolism plays a role in the dysregulation of both hepatic fat and glucose metabolism during diabetes.
RESEARCH DESIGN AND METHODS—Mitochondrial fluxes were measured using 2H/13C tracers and nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy in ZDF rats during early and advanced diabetes. To determine whether defects in hepatic fat oxidation can be corrected by peroxisome proliferator–activated receptor (PPAR-)-α activation, rats were treated with WY14,643 for 3 weeks before tracer administration.
RESULTS—Hepatic mitochondrial fat oxidation in the diabetic liver was impaired twofold secondary to decreased ketogenesis, but tricarboxylic acid (TCA) cycle activity and pyruvate carboxylase flux were normal in newly diabetic rats and elevated in older rats. Treatment of diabetic rats with a PPAR–α agonist induced hepatic fat oxidation via ketogenesis and hepatic TCA cycle activity but failed to lower fasting glycemia or endogenous glucose production. In fact, PPAR-α agonism overstimulated mitochondrial TCA cycle flux and induced pyruvate carboxylase flux and gluconeogenesis in lean rats.
CONCLUSIONS—The impairment of certain mitochondrial fluxes, but preservation or induction of others, suggests a complex defect in mitochondrial metabolism in the diabetic liver. These data indicate an important codependence between hepatic fat oxidation and gluconeogenesis in the normal and diabetic state and potentially explain the sometimes equivocal effect of PPAR-α agonists on glycemia.
Fluxes through mitochondrial pathways are defective in insulin resistant skeletal muscle, but it is unclear whether similar mitochondrial defects play a role in the liver during insulin resistance and/or diabetes. The purpose of this study is to determine if abnormal mitochondrial metabolism might play a role in the dysregulation of both hepatic fat and glucose metabolism during diabetes.
Research Design and Methods
Mitochondrial fluxes were measured using 2H/13C tracers and nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) spectroscopy in Zucker Diabetic Fatty (ZDF) rats during early and advanced diabetes. To determine whether defects in hepatic fat oxidation can be corrected by PPARα activation, rats were treated with WY14,643 for 3-weeks prior to tracer administration.
Hepatic mitochondrial fat oxidation in the diabetic liver was impaired 2-fold secondary to decreased ketogenesis, but TCA cycle activity and pyruvate carboxylase flux were normal in newly diabetic rats and elevated in older rats. Treatment of diabetic rats with a PPARα agonist induced hepatic fat oxidation via ketogenesis and hepatic TCA cycle activity, but failed to lower fasting glycemia or endogenous glucose production. In fact, PPARα agonism over-stimulated mitochondrial TCA cycle flux and induced pyruvate carboxylase flux and gluconeogenesis in lean rats.
The impairment of certain mitochondrial fluxes, but preservation or induction of others, suggests a complex defect in mitochondrial metabolism in the diabetic liver. These data indicate an important co-dependence between hepatic fat oxidation and gluconeogenesis in the normal and diabetic state and potentially explain the sometimes equivocal effect of PPARα agonists on glycemia.
Reductions in insulin sensitivity in conjunction with muscle mitochondrial dysfunction have been reported to occur in many conditions including aging. The objective was to determine whether insulin resistance and mitochondrial dysfunction are directly related to chronological age or are related to age-related changes in body composition.
RESEARCH DESIGN AND METHODS
Twelve young lean, 12 young obese, 12 elderly lean, and 12 elderly obese sedentary adults were studied. Insulin sensitivity was measured by a hyperinsulinemic-euglycemic clamp, and skeletal muscle mitochondrial ATP production rates (MAPRs) were measured in freshly isolated mitochondria obtained from vastus lateralis biopsy samples using the luciferase reaction.
Obese participants, independent of age, had reduced insulin sensitivity based on lower rates of glucose infusion during a hyperinsulinemic-euglycemic clamp. In contrast, age had no independent effect on insulin sensitivity. However, the elderly participants had lower muscle MAPRs than the young participants, independent of obesity. Elderly participants also had higher levels inflammatory cytokines and total adiponectin. In addition, higher muscle MAPRs were also noted in men than in women, whereas glucose infusion rates were higher in women.
The results demonstrate that age-related reductions in insulin sensitivity are likely due to an age-related increase in adiposity rather than a consequence of advanced chronological age. The results also indicate that an age-related decrease in muscle mitochondrial function is neither related to adiposity nor insulin sensitivity. Of interest, a higher mitochondrial ATP production capacity was noted in the men, whereas the women were more insulin sensitive, demonstrating further dissociation between insulin sensitivity and muscle mitochondrial function.
Visceral obesity is strongly associated with insulin resistance. One potential cause is increased availability of FFA. Alternatively, it has been proposed that there is impaired oxidation of lipid in individuals at risk for obesity. The extent to which either concept involves skeletal muscle is uncertain. To examine these opposing hypotheses, 17 healthy lean and obese premenopausal women, among whom cross-sectional area of visceral fat ranged from 18 to 180 cm2, participated in leg balance studies for measurement of FFA and glucose utilization during basal and insulin-stimulated conditions. A metabolic profile of skeletal muscle, based on enzyme activity, was determined in vastus lateralis muscle obtained by percutaneous biopsy. Visceral fat content was negatively correlated with insulin sensitivity (rates of leg glucose uptake and storage), but insulin resistance was not caused by glucose-FFA competition. During hyperinsulinemia, neither leg FFA uptake nor oxidation was increased in women with visceral obesity. During fasting conditions, however, rates of FFA uptake across the leg were negatively correlated with visceral adiposity as were activities of muscle carnitine palmitoyl transferase and citrate synthase. In summary, visceral adiposity is clearly associated with skeletal muscle insulin resistance but this is not due to glucose-FFA substrate competition. Instead, women with visceral obesity have reduced postabsorptive FFA utilization by muscle.
Mitochondrial dysfunction is thought to play a crucial role in the etiology of insulin resistance, in which skeletal muscle is the main tissue contributor. Sex differences in skeletal muscle insulin and antioxidant responses to high-fat-diet (HFD) feeding have been described. The aim of this study was to elucidate whether there is a sex dimorphism in the effects of HFD feeding on skeletal muscle mitochondrial biogenesis and on the adiponectin signaling pathway, as well as the influence of the muscle type (oxidative or glycolytic).
Gastrocnemius and soleus muscles of male and female Wistar rats of 2 months of age fed with a high-fat-diet (HFD) or a low fat diet for 26 weeks were used. Mitochondrial biogenesis and oxidative damage markers, oxidative capacity and antioxidant defences were analyzed. Serum insulin sensitivity parameters and the levels of proteins involved in adiponectin signaling pathway were also determined.
HFD feeding induced mitochondrial biogenesis in both sexes, but to a higher degree in male rats. Although HFD female rats showed greater antioxidant protection and maintained a better insulin sensitivity profile than their male counterparts, both sexes showed an impaired response to adiponectin, which was more evident in gastrocnemius muscle.
We conclude that HFD rats may induce skeletal muscle mitochondrial biogenesis as an attempt to compensate the deleterious consequences of adiponectin and insulin resistance on oxidative metabolism, and that the effects of HFD feeding are sex-dependent and muscle-type specific.
Insulin sensitivity; Adiponectin; PGC-1α; TFAM; UCP3
High-fat diet (HFD) induced obesity and concomitant development of insulin resistance (IR) and type 2 diabetes mellitus have been linked to mitochondrial dysfunction. However, it is not clear whether mitochondrial dysfunction is a direct effect of a HFD, or if mitochondrial function is reduced with increased HFD duration. We hypothesized that the function of mitochondrial oxidative and lipid metabolism functions in skeletal muscle mitochondria for HFD mice are similar, or elevated, relative to standard diet (SD) mice; thereby, IR is neither cause nor consequence of mitochondrial dysfunction. We applied a chemical probe approach to identify functionally reactive ATPases and nucleotide-binding proteins in mitochondria isolated from skeletal muscle of C57Bl/6J mice fed HFD or SD chow for 2-, 8-, or 16-weeks; feeding time points known to induce IR. A total of 293 probe-labeled proteins were identified by mass spectrometry-based proteomics, of which 54 differed in abundance between HFD and SD mice. We found proteins associated with the TCA cycle, oxidative phosphorylation (OXPHOS), and lipid metabolism were altered in function when comparing SD to HFD fed mice at 2-weeks, however by 16-weeks HFD mice had TCA cycle, β-oxidation, and respiratory chain function at levels similar to or higher than SD mice.
Insulin resistance is associated with impaired skeletal muscle oxidation capacity and reduced mitochondrial number and function. Here, we report that adiponectin signaling regulates mitochondrial bioenergetics in skeletal muscle. Individuals with a family history of type 2 diabetes display skeletal muscle insulin resistance and mitochondrial dysfunction; adiponectin levels strongly correlate with mtDNA content. Knockout of the adiponectin gene in mice is associated with insulin resistance and low mitochondrial content and reduced mitochondrial enzyme activity in skeletal muscle. Adiponectin treatment of human myotubes in primary culture induces mitochondrial biogenesis, palmitate oxidation, and citrate synthase activity, and reduces the production of reactive oxygen species. The inhibition of adiponectin receptor expression by siRNA, or of AMPK by a pharmacological agent, blunts adiponectin induction of mitochondrial function. Our findings define a skeletal muscle pathway by which adiponectin increases mitochondrial number and function and exerts antidiabetic effects.
Berberine (BBR) has recently been shown to improve insulin sensitivity in rodent models of insulin resistance. Although this effect was explained partly through an observed activation of AMP-activated protein kinase (AMPK), the upstream and downstream mediators of this phenotype were not explored. Here, we show that BBR supplementation reverts mitochondrial dysfunction induced by High Fat Diet (HFD) and hyperglycemia in skeletal muscle, in part due to an increase in mitochondrial biogenesis. Furthermore, we observe that the prevention of mitochondrial dysfunction by BBR, the increase in mitochondrial biogenesis, as well as BBR-induced AMPK activation, are blocked in cells in which SIRT1 has been knocked-down. Taken together, these data reveal an important role for SIRT1 and mitochondrial biogenesis in the preventive effects of BBR on diet-induced insulin resistance.
Metabolic syndrome; Berberine; Mitochondria; SIRT1; AMPK; NAMPT
The dysregulation of the insulin-glucose axis represents the crucial event in insulin resistance syndrome. Insulin resistance increases atherogenesis and atherosclerotic plaque instability by inducing proinflammatory activities on vascular and immune cells. This condition characterizes several diseases, such as type 2 diabetes, impaired glucose tolerance (IGT), impaired fasting glucose (IFG), obesity, hypertension, dyslipidemia, and other endocrinopathies, but also cancer. Recent studies suggest that the pathophysiology of insulin resistance is closely related to interferences with insulin-mediated intracellular signaling on skeletal muscle cells, hepatocytes, and adipocytes. Strong evidence supports the role of free fatty acids (FFAs) in promoting insulin resistance. The FFA-induced activation of protein kinase C (PKC) delta, inhibitor kappaB kinase (IKK), or c-Jun N-terminal kinase (JNK) modulates insulin-triggered intracellular pathway (classically known as PI3-K-dependent). Therefore, reduction of FFA levels represents a selective target for modulating insulin resistance.
Skeletal muscle mitochondrial dysfunction and insulin resistance occur in chronic kidney disease. Ghrelin is a gastric hormone previously shown to enhance muscle mitochondrial enzyme activities and AKT-mediated insulin signaling independent of food intake in healthy rats. Here we determined the impact of ghrelin treatment on anorexia, skeletal muscle mitochondrial oxidative capacity, AKT phosphorylation as a measure of insulin signaling, and lean body mass in a rat model of chronic kidney disease. Ghrelin infusion promoted higher food intake and lean body mass. Further, although muscle mitochondrial enzyme activities were low in the rats with CKD (chronic kidney disease), they normalized with ghrelin treatment, a change that was consistent with the increase in the transcript levels of regulators of mitochondrial biogenesis and lipid metabolism. This was associated with a lower muscle triglyceride content and higher AKT phosphorylation. Pair-feeding showed that mitochondrial effects of ghrelin are independent of changes in food intake, whereas combined ghrelin treatment and higher food intake were needed to enhance AKT phosphorylation. Thus, ghrelin-induced muscle mitochondrial changes and lower tissue triglycerides could favor insulin action and muscle anabolism in the presence of improvement in food intake. Our study shows that combined effects of ghrelin on appetite and muscle mitochondria improve muscle metabolic and nutritional alterations in chronic kidney disease. This could have potential beneficial impact on patient morbidity and survival.
insulin resistance; mitochondria; nutrition
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.
Aging-associated muscle insulin resistance has been hypothesized to be due to decreased mitochondrial function, secondary to cumulative free radical damage, leading to increased intramyocellular lipid content. To directly test this hypothesis we examined both in vivo and in vitro mitochondrial function, intramyocellular lipid content and insulin action in lean healthy mice with targeted overexpression of the human catalase gene to mitochondria (MCAT mice). Here we show that MCAT mice are protected from age-induced decrease in muscle mitochondrial function (~30%), energy metabolism (~7%) and lipid-induced muscle insulin resistance. This protection from age-induced reduction in mitochondrial function was associated with reduced mitochondrial oxidative damage, preserved mitochondrial respiration and muscle ATP synthesis and AMP-activated protein kinase-induced mitochondrial biogenesis. Taken together these data suggest that the preserved mitochondrial function maintained by reducing mitochondrial oxidative damage may prevent age-associated whole body energy imbalance and muscle insulin resistance.
Mitochondrial dysfunction and increased oxidative stress are associated with obesity and type 2 diabetes. High fat feeding induces insulin resistance and increases skeletal muscle oxidative stress in rodents, but there is controversy as to whether skeletal muscle mitochondrial biogenesis and function is altered.
Methodology and Principal Findings
Forty (37±2 y) non-obese (25.6±0.6 kg/m2) sedentary men (n = 20) and women (n = 20) were overfed (+1040±100 kcal/day, 46±1% of energy from fat) for 28 days. Hyperinsulinemic-euglycemic clamps were performed at baseline and day 28 of overfeeding and skeletal muscle biopsies taken at baseline, day 3 and day 28 of overfeeding in a sub cohort of 26 individuals (13 men and 13 women) that consented to having all 3 biopsies performed. Weight increased on average in the whole cohort by 0.6±0.1 and 2.7±0.3 kg at days 3 and 28, respectively (P<0.0001, without a significant difference in the response between men and women (P = 0.4). Glucose infusion rate during the hyperinsulinemic-euglycemic clamp decreased from 54.8±2.8 at baseline to 50.3±2.5 µmol/min/kg FFM at day 28 of overfeeding (P = 0.03) without a significant difference between men and women (P = 0.4). Skeletal muscle protein carbonyls and urinary F2-isoprostanes increased with overfeeding (P<0.05). Protein levels of muscle peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor gamma coactivator-1α (PGC1α) and subunits from complex I, II and V of the electron transport chain were increased at day 3 (all P<0.05) and returned to basal levels at day 28. No changes were detected in muscle citrate synthase activity or ex vivo CO2 production at either time point.
Peripheral insulin resistance was induced by overfeeding, without reducing any of the markers of mitochondrial content that were examined. Oxidative stress was however increased, and may have contributed to the reduction in insulin sensitivity observed.
The contribution of mitochondrial dysfunction to skeletal muscle insulin resistance remains elusive. Comparative proteomics are being applied to generate new hypotheses in human biology and were applied here to isolated mitochondria to identify novel changes in mitochondrial protein abundance present in insulin-resistant muscle.
RESEARCH DESIGN AND METHODS
Mitochondria were isolated from vastus lateralis muscle from lean and insulin-sensitive individuals and from obese and insulin-resistant individuals who were otherwise healthy. Respiration and reactive oxygen species (ROS) production rates were measured in vitro. Relative abundances of proteins detected by mass spectrometry were determined using a normalized spectral abundance factor method.
NADH- and FADH2-linked maximal respiration rates were similar between lean and obese individuals. Rates of pyruvate and palmitoyl-dl-carnitine (both including malate) ROS production were significantly higher in obesity. Mitochondria from obese individuals maintained higher (more negative) extramitochondrial ATP free energy at low metabolic flux, suggesting that stronger mitochondrial thermodynamic driving forces may underlie the higher ROS production. Tandem mass spectrometry identified protein abundance differences per mitochondrial mass in insulin resistance, including lower abundance of complex I subunits and enzymes involved in the oxidation of branched-chain amino acids (BCAA) and fatty acids (e.g., carnitine palmitoyltransferase 1B).
We provide data suggesting normal oxidative capacity of mitochondria in insulin-resistant skeletal muscle in parallel with high rates of ROS production. Furthermore, we show specific abundance differences in proteins involved in fat and BCAA oxidation that might contribute to the accumulation of lipid and BCAA frequently associated with the pathogenesis of insulin resistance.
Insulin and contraction each increase muscle microvascular blood volume (MBV) and glucose uptake. Inhibiting nitric oxide synthase blocks insulin's but not contraction's effects. We examined whether contraction could augment the MBV increase seen with physiologic hyperinsulinemia and whether free fatty acid (FFA)-induced insulin resistance differentially affects contraction- versus insulin-mediated increases in MBV.
RESEARCH DESIGN AND METHODS
Rats were fasted overnight. Plasma FFAs were increased by intralipid/heparin infusion (3 h), insulin was increased with a euglycemic clamp (3 mU · min−1 · kg−1), and hindlimb muscle contraction was electrically stimulated. Muscle MBV was measured using contrast-enhanced ultrasound. Insulin transport into muscle was measured using 125I-insulin. BQ-123 (0.4 mg/h) was used to block the endothelin-1 (ET-1) receptor A.
Superimposing contraction on physiologic hyperinsulinemia increased MBV within 10 min by 37 and 67% for 0.1 or 1 Hz, respectively (P < 0.01). FFA elevation alone did not affect MBV, whereas 0.1 Hz stimulation doubled MBV (P < 0.05) and increased muscle insulin uptake (P < 0.05) despite high FFA. Physiologic hyperinsulinemia during FFA elevation paradoxically decreased MBV (P < 0.05). This MBV decrease was reversed by either 0.1 Hz contraction or ET-1 receptor A antagonism, and the combination raised MBV above basal.
Contraction recruits microvasculature beyond that seen with physiologic hyperinsulinemia by a distinct mechanism that is not blocked by FFA-induced vascular insulin resistance. The paradoxical MBV decline seen with insulin plus FFA may result from differential inhibition of insulin-stimulated nitric oxide–dependent vasodilation relative to ET-1 vasoconstriction. Our results implicate ET-1 as a potential mediator of FFA-induced vascular insulin resistance.
Recent studies showed a link between a high fat diet (HFD)-induced obesity and lipid accumulation in non-adipose tissues, such as skeletal muscle and liver, and insulin resistance (IR). Although the mechanisms responsible for IR in those tissues are different, oxidative stress and mitochondrial dysfunction have been implicated in the disease process. We tested the hypothesis that HFD induced mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) damage and that this damage is associated with mitochondrial dysfunction, oxidative stress, and induction of markers of endoplasmic reticulum (ER) stress, protein degradation and apoptosis in skeletal muscle and liver in a mouse model of obesity-induced IR.
C57BL/6J male mice were fed either a HFD (60% fat) or normal chow (NC) (10% fat) for 16 weeks. We found that HFD-induced IR correlated with increased mtDNA damage, mitochondrial dysfunction and markers of oxidative stress in skeletal muscle and liver. Also, a HFD causes a change in the expression level of DNA repair enzymes in both nuclei and mitochondria in skeletal muscle and liver. Furthermore, a HFD leads to activation of ER stress, protein degradation and apoptosis in skeletal muscle and liver, and significantly reduced the content of two major proteins involved in insulin signaling, Akt and IRS-1 in skeletal muscle, and Akt in liver. Basal p-Akt level was not significantly influenced by HFD feeding in skeletal muscle and liver.
This study provides new evidence that HFD-induced mtDNA damage correlates with mitochondrial dysfunction and increased oxidative stress in skeletal muscle and liver, which is associated with the induction of markers of ER stress, protein degradation and apoptosis.
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.