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J Biol Chem. 2011 Mar 18;286(11):9797-804. doi: 10.1074/jbc.M110.210807. Epub 2011 Jan 14.

Reconstitution of insulin action in muscle, white adipose tissue, and brain of insulin receptor knock-out mice fails to rescue diabetes.

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Department of Medicine, Columbia University, New York, New York 10032, USA.


Type 2 diabetes results from an impairment of insulin action. The first demonstrable abnormality of insulin signaling is a decrease of insulin-dependent glucose disposal followed by an increase in hepatic glucose production. In an attempt to dissect the relative importance of these two changes in disease progression, we have employed genetic knock-outs/knock-ins of the insulin receptor. Previously, we demonstrated that insulin receptor knock-out mice (Insr(-/-)) could be rescued from diabetes by reconstitution of insulin signaling in liver, brain, and pancreatic β cells (L1 mice). In this study, we used a similar approach to reconstitute insulin signaling in tissues that display insulin-dependent glucose uptake. Using GLUT4-Cre mice, we restored InsR expression in muscle, fat, and brain of Insr(-/-) mice (GIRKI (Glut4-insulin receptor knock-in line 1) mice). Unlike L1 mice, GIRKI mice failed to thrive and developed diabetes, although their survival was modestly extended when compared with Insr(-/-). The data underscore the role of developmental factors in the presentation of murine diabetes. The broader implication of our findings is that diabetes treatment should not necessarily target the same tissues that are responsible for disease pathogenesis.

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