Studies in genetically engineered mice have shown the importance of cross-talk between organs in the regulation of energy metabolism. In this issue, a careful metabolic characterization of mice with genetic deficiency of the GLUT4 glucose transporter in adipocytes and muscle is reported. These mice compensate for decreased peripheral glucose disposal by increasing hepatic glucose uptake and lipid synthesis as well as by increasing lipid utilization in peripheral tissues. These findings are relevant to humans with type 2 diabetes, in whom a key feature is diminished peripheral glucose disposal.
Perry E. Bickel