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Cell Metab. 2012 Jun 6;15(6):798-804. doi: 10.1016/j.cmet.2012.03.001.

Insulin resistance in the defense against obesity.

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Life Sciences Institute, Departments of Internal Medicine and Molecular and Integrative Physiology, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI 48109, USA.


In the face of the current obesity epidemic, the nature of the relationship between overnutrition and type 2 diabetes is of great importance. Obesity can be considered a state of excessive insulin action that elicits a series of cellular homeostatic responses, producing systemic insulin resistance. These responses occur in four steps: homologous desensitization to insulin action, leptin secretion, inflammation, and, finally, a counter-inflammatory phase that serves to conserve energy storage. The molecular mechanisms underlying these steps are discussed in the context of potential new therapeutic approaches.

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