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Bull Acad Natl Med. 1999;183(9):1761-75; discussion 1775-7.

[Insulin resistance: from clinical diagnosis to molecular genetics. Implications in diabetes mellitus].

[Article in French]

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Laboratoire d'Endocrinologie Moléculaire, Institut Universitaire de Recherche Clinique (IURC), Montpellier, France.


Insulin resistance is observed in several diseases such as non insulin dependent diabetes mellitus (NIDDM) or polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS). To understand genetic determinism of this abnormality we have developed a multidisciplinary approach including selection of phenotypes with insulin resistance confirmed in vivo by minimal model of Bergman and characterization of cellular defects in insulin action on circulating erythrocytes and monocytes. Exploration of variability in candidate genes by direct sequencing in some genetic syndromes of severe insulin resistance and acanthosis nigricans (mainly the Type A syndrome) revealed mutations of the insulin receptor gene associated with major defects in insulin binding or kinase activity. In other rare genetic syndromes or patients affected by NIDDM or PCOS defects appear to be located at post-receptor level, where IRS (insulin receptor substrate) genes are the most attractive candidates. Prevalence of some allelic variants suggested a potential role of IRS genes in insulin resistance, although their involvement in the pathogenesis of NIDDM remains controversial. Genotype-phenotype correlations in first degree relatives of an index case caring the Type A syndrome, suggested that association of allelic variants of IRS-1 and IRS-2 with insulin receptor mutations contribute, by synergistic effects, to phenotypic expression of defects in signal transduction. These mechanisms through genetic epistasis, involving several genes in insulin action, fit better with the polygenic nature of current forms of NIDDM and represent a good model in the study of pathogenesis of insulin resistance.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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