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J Cell Physiol. 2013 Feb;228(2):439-46. doi: 10.1002/jcp.24149.

Insulin receptor activation through its accumulation in lipid rafts by mild electrical stress.

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Department of Molecular Medicine, Global COE Cell Fate Regulation Research and Education Unit, Kumamoto University, Kumamoto, Japan.


Insulin resistance is due to the reduced cellular response to insulin in peripheral tissues. The interaction of insulin with its receptor is the first step in insulin action and thus the identified target of insulin resistance. It has been well established that defects or mutations in the insulin receptor (IR) cause insulin resistance. Therefore, an IR activator might be a novel therapeutic approach for insulin resistance. Our previous report showed that mild electrical stress (MES) enhanced the insulin-induced signaling pathway. However, the molecular mechanism of the effect of MES remains unclear. We assessed the effect of MES, which is characterized by low-intensity direct current, on insulin signaling in vitro and in vivo. Here, we showed that MES activated the insulin signaling in an insulin-independent manner and improved insulin resistance in peripheral tissues of high fat-fed mice. Moreover, we found that MES increased the localization of IR in lipid rafts and enhanced the level of phosphorylated Akt in insulin-resistant hepatic cells. Ablation of lipid rafts disrupted the effect of MES on Akt activation. Our findings indicate that MES has potential as an activator of IR in an insulin-independent manner, and might be beneficial for insulin resistance in type 2 diabetes.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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