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J Zhejiang Univ Sci B. 2011 Aug;12(8):677-82. doi: 10.1631/jzus.B1100001.

Effects of GLUT4 expression on insulin resistance in patients with advanced liver cirrhosis.

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Department of Anesthesiology, the First Affiliated Hospital, School of Medicine, Zhejiang University, Hangzhou 310003, China.


Decreased glucose tolerance and diabetes are frequently observed in advanced liver cirrhosis patients and may be related to insulin resistance. Glucose transporter-4 (GLUT4), one of the most important glucose transporters, plays a key role in the development of type 2 diabetes. In order to study the mechanism of insulin resistance in liver cirrhosis patients, we measured the insulin sensitivity index and determined the GLUT4 protein and mRNA contents of skeletal muscle by Western blotting and reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR), respectively, in normal people and liver cirrhosis patients. The results showed that the levels of glucose, insulin, and C-peptide in two liver cirrhosis groups were higher and the insulin sensitivity index lower than those of the normal control group. The sensitivity of insulin may decrease with the decline of liver function. However, the contents of GLUT4 protein and mRNA in patients with advanced liver cirrhosis were similar to those of normal controls. In conclusion, insulin resistance is observed in patients with advanced liver cirrhosis but may not be correlated with the skeletal contents of GLUT4 protein and mRNA.

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