Both insulin resistance and hyperinsulinemia have been reported to be independent risk factors for cardiovascular diseases. However, little is known regarding insulin signaling in the vascular tissues in insulin-resistant states. In this report, insulin signaling on the phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase (PI 3-kinase) and mitogen-activated protein (MAP) kinase pathways were compared in vascular tissues of lean and obese Zucker (fa/fa) rats in both ex vivo and in vivo studies. Ex vivo, insulin-stimulated tyrosine phosphorylation of insulin receptor β subunits (IRβ) in the aorta and microvessels of obese rats was significantly decreased compared with lean rats, although the protein levels of IRβ in the 2 groups were not different. Insulin-induced tyrosine phosphorylation of insulin receptor substrates 1 and 2 (IRS-1 and IRS-2) and their protein levels were decreased in the aorta of obese rats compared with lean rats. The association of p85 subunit to the IRS proteins and the IRS-associated PI 3-kinase activities stimulated by insulin in the aorta of obese rats were significantly decreased compared with the lean rats. In addition, insulin-stimulated serine phosphorylation of Akt, a downstream kinase of PI 3-kinase pathway, was also reduced significantly in isolated microvessels from obese rats compared with the lean rats. In euglycemic clamp studies, insulin infusion greatly increased tyrosine phosphorylation of IRβ- and IRS-2–associated PI 3-kinase activity in the aorta of lean rats, but only slight increases were observed in obese rats. In contrast, insulin stimulated tyrosine phosphorylation of MAP kinase (ERK-1/2) equally in isolated microvessels of lean and obese rats, although basal tyrosine phosphorylation of ERK-1/2 was higher in the obese rats. To our knowledge, these data provided the first direct measurements of insulin signaling in the vascular tissues, and documented a selective resistance to PI 3-kinase (but not to MAP kinase pathway) in the vascular tissues of obese Zucker rats.
Zhen Y. Jiang, You-Wei Lin, Allen Clemont, Edward P. Feener, Katherine D. Hein, Masahiko Igarashi, Teruaki Yamauchi, Morris F. White, George L. King
Guidelines: The Editorial Board will only consider letters that we deem relevant and of interest to our readers. We will not post data that have not been subjected to peer review, nor will we post letters that are essentially a reiteration of another letter. All accepted letters will be posted on our website within one week of acceptance. We reserve the right to edit any letter for length, content, and clarity. Authors of all accepted letters will be asked to preview any changes. Authors will be notified by e-mail if their letters were not accepted. As this is a final decision, no appeals will be considered.
Specific requirements: All letters must be 400 words or fewer. You may enter the letter as plain text or HTML. The author's name and e-mail address are required, and will be posted with the letter. All possible conflicts of interest must be noted, even if they are not posted. If you wish to include a figure (keep in mind that non-peer-reviewed data will not be posted), please contact the editors directly at firstname.lastname@example.org.