Perilipin 2 improves insulin sensitivity in skeletal muscle despite eleveted intramuscular lipid levels

M. Bosma, M.K. Hesselink, L.M. Sparks, S. Timmers, M.J. Ferraz, F.B.J. Mattijssen, F. van Beurden, G. Schaart, M.H. de Baets, F.K. Verheyen, A.H. Kersten, P. Schrauwen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

106 Citations (Scopus)


Type 2 diabetes is characterized by excessive lipid storage in skeletal muscle. Excessive intramyocellular lipid (IMCL) storage exceeds intracellular needs and induces lipotoxic events, ultimately contributing to the development of insulin resistance. Lipid droplet (LD)–coating proteins may control proper lipid storage in skeletal muscle. Perilipin 2 (PLIN2/adipose differentiation–related protein [ADRP]) is one of the most abundantly expressed LD-coating proteins in skeletal muscle. Here we examined the role of PLIN2 in myocellular lipid handling and insulin sensitivity by investigating the effects of in vitro PLIN2 knockdown and in vitro and in vivo overexpression. PLIN2 knockdown decreased LD formation and triacylglycerol (TAG) storage, marginally increased fatty-acid (FA) oxidation, and increased incorporation of palmitate into diacylglycerols and phospholipids. PLIN2 overexpression in vitro increased intramyocellular TAG storage paralleled with improved insulin sensitivity. In vivo muscle-specific PLIN2 overexpression resulted in increased LD accumulation and blunted the high-fat diet–induced increase in protein content of the subunits of the oxidative phosphorylation (OXPHOS) chain. Diacylglycerol levels were unchanged, whereas ceramide levels were increased. Despite the increased IMCL accumulation, PLIN2 overexpression improved skeletal muscle insulin sensitivity. We conclude that PLIN2 is essential for lipid storage in skeletal muscle by enhancing the partitioning of excess FAs toward TAG storage in LDs, thereby blunting lipotoxicity-associated insulin resistance.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2679-2690
Number of pages11
Issue number11
Publication statusPublished - 2012


  • differentiation-related protein
  • triglyceride lipase
  • adrp expression
  • deficient mice
  • fatty-acids
  • liver-cells
  • resistance
  • droplets
  • triacylglycerol
  • accumulation


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