Re-evaluating lipotoxic triggers in skeletal muscle: relating intramyocellular lipid metabolism to insulin sensitivity

M. Bosma, A.H. Kersten, M.K.C. Hesselink, P. Schrauwen

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84 Citations (Scopus)


Ectopic fat accumulation has been linked to lipotoxic events, including the development of insulin resistance in skeletal muscle. Indeed, intramyocellular lipid storage is strongly associated with the development of type 2 diabetes. Research during the last two decades has provided evidence for a role of lipid intermediates like diacylglycerol and ceramide in the induction of lipid-induced insulin resistance. However, recently novel data has been gathered that suggest that the relation between lipid intermediates and insulin resistance is less straightforward than has been previously suggested, and that there are several routes towards lipid-induced insulin resistance. For example, research in this field has shifted towards imbalances in lipid metabolism and lipid droplet dynamics. Next to imbalances in key lipogenic and lipolytic proteins, lipid droplet coat proteins appear to be essential for proper intramyocellular lipid storage, turnover and protection against lipid-induced insulin resistance. Here, we discuss the current knowledge on lipid-induced insulin resistance in skeletal muscle with a focus on the evidence from human studies. Furthermore, we discuss the available data that provides supporting mechanistic information.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)36-49
Number of pages14
JournalProgress in Lipid Research
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2012


  • stearoyl-coa desaturase
  • saturated fatty-acids
  • differentiation-related protein
  • type-2 diabetic-patients
  • magnetic-resonance spectroscopy
  • morbidly obese subjects
  • leptin-deficient mice
  • kinase-c activation
  • weight-loss
  • adipose-tissue

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