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Exp Mol Med. 2010 May 31;42(5):345-52.

S-Adenosyl-L-methionine ameliorates TNFalpha-induced insulin resistance in 3T3-L1 adipocytes.

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Department of Internal Medicine, Eulji University School of Medicine, Seoul 139-872, Korea.


An association between inflammatory processes and the pathogenesis of insulin resistance has been increasingly suggested. The IkappaB kinase-beta (IKK-beta)/ nuclear factor-kappaB (NF-kappaB) pathway is a molecular mediator of insulin resistance. S-Adenosyl-L-methionine (SAM) has both antioxidative and anti-inflammatory properties. We investigated the effects of SAM on the glucose transport and insulin signaling impaired by the tumor necrosis factor alpha (TNFalpha) in 3T3-L1 adipocytes. SAM partially reversed the basal and insulin stimulated glucose transport, which was impaired by TNFalpha. The TNFalpha-induced suppression of the tyrosine phosphorylation of the insulin receptor substrate-1 (IRS-1) and Akt in 3T3-L1 adipocytes was also reversed by SAM. In addition, SAM significantly attenuated the TNFalpha-induced degradation of IkappaB-alpha and NF-kappaB activation. Interestingly, SAM directly inhibited the kinase activity of IKK-beta in vitro. These results suggest that SAM can alleviate TNFalpha mediated-insulin resistance by inhibiting the IKK-beta/NF-kappaB pathway and thus can have a beneficial role in the treatment of type 2 diabetes mellitus.

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