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Curr Diabetes Rev. 2012 Sep;8(5):390-400.

Lipid composition of cell membranes and its relevance in type 2 diabetes mellitus.

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1
Teaching Hospital, Onze Lieve Vrouwe Gasthuis, Oosterparkstraat 9, PO Box 95500, 1090 HM Amsterdam, The Netherlands. robw01@xs4all.nl

Abstract

Identifying the causative relationship between the fatty acid composition of cell membranes and type 2 diabetes mellitus fundamentally contributes to the understanding of the basic pathophysiological mechanisms of the disease. Important outcomes of the reviewed studies appear to support the hypotheses that the flexibility of a membrane determined by the ratio of (poly)unsaturated to saturated fatty acyl chains of its phospholipids influences the effectiveness of glucose transport by insulin-independent glucose transporters (GLUTs) and the insulin-dependent GLUT4, and from the prediabetic stage on a shift from unsaturated towards saturated fatty acyl chains of membrane phospholipids directly induces a decrease in glucose effectiveness and insulin sensitivity. In addition, it has become evident that a concomitant increase in stiffness of both plasma and erythrocyte membranes may decrease the microcirculatory flow, leading ultimately to tissue hypoxia, insufficient tissue nutrition, and diabetes-specific microvascular pathology. As to the etiology of type 2 diabetes mellitus, a revised hypothesis that attempts to accommodate the reviewed findings is presented.

PMID:
22698081
PMCID:
PMC3474953
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article
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