Tissue triglycerides, insulin resistance, and insulin production: Implications for hyperinsulinemia of obesity

Kazunori Koyama, Guoxun Chen, Young H Lee, Roger H Unger

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

221 Scopus citations

Abstract

Obesity is associated with both insulin resistance and hyperinsulinemia. Initially hyperinsulinemia compensates for the insulin resistance and thereby maintains normal glucose homeostasis. Obesity is also associated with increased tissue triglyceride (TG) content. To determine whether both insulin resistance and hyperinsulinemia might be secondary to increased tissue TG, we studied correlations between TG content of skeletal muscle, liver, and pancreas and plasma insulin, plasma [insulin] x [glucose], and β-cell function in four rat models with widely varying fat content: obese Zucker diabetic fatty rats, free-feeding lean Wistar rats, hyperleptinemic Wistar rats with profound tissue lipopenia, and rats pair fed to hyperleptinemics. Correlation coefficients >0.9 (P < 0.05) were obtained among TG of skeletal muscle, liver, and pancreas and among plasma insulin, [insulin] x [glucose] product, and β-cell function as gauged by basal, glucose-stimulated, and arginine-stimulated insulin secretion by the isolated perfused pancreas. Although these correlations cannot prove cause and effect, they are consistent with the hypothesis that the TG content of tissues sets the level of both insulin resistance and insulin production.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)E708-E713
JournalAmerican Journal of Physiology - Endocrinology and Metabolism
Volume273
Issue number4 36-4
StatePublished - Nov 17 1997

Keywords

  • Obese Zucker diabetic fatty rats
  • Tissue fat
  • β-cell function

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism
  • Physiology
  • Physiology (medical)

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