To further explore the nature of the mitochondrial dysfunction and insulin resistance that occur in the muscle of young, lean, normoglycemic, insulin-resistant offspring of parents with type 2 diabetes (IR offspring), we measured mitochondrial content by electron microscopy and insulin signaling in muscle biopsy samples obtained from these individuals before and during a hyperinsulinemic-euglycemic clamp. The rate of insulin-stimulated muscle glucose uptake was approximately 60% lower in the IR offspring than the control subjects and was associated with an approximately 60% increase in the intramyocellular lipid content as assessed by 1H magnetic resonance spectroscopy. Muscle mitochondrial density was 38% lower in the IR offspring. These changes were associated with a 50% increase in IRS-1 Ser312 and IRS-1 Ser636 phosphorylation and an approximately 60% reduction in insulin-stimulated Akt activation in the IR offspring. These data provide new insights into the earliest defects that may be responsible for the development of type 2 diabetes and support the hypothesis that reductions in mitochondrial content result in decreased mitochondrial function, which predisposes IR offspring to intramyocellular lipid accumulation, which in turn activates a serine kinase cascade that leads to defects in insulin signaling and action in muscle.


Katsutaro Morino, Kitt Falk Petersen, Sylvie Dufour, Douglas Befroy, Jared Frattini, Nadine Shatzkes, Susanne Neschen, Morris F. White, Stefan Bilz, Saki Sono, Marc Pypaert, Gerald I. Shulman


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