Scientific publications

Liver-specific insulin receptor isoform A expression enhances hepatic glucose uptake and ameliorates liver steatosis in a mouse model of diet-induced obesity

Feb 7, 2019 | Magazine: Disease Models & Mechanisms

Andrea Raposo Lopez-Pastor, Almudena Gomez-Hernandez, Sabela Diaz-Castroverde, Gloria Gonzalez-Aseguinolaza, Agueda Gonzalez-Rodriguez, Gema Garcia, Silvia Fernandez, Oscar Escribano, Manuel Benito


Among the main complications associated with obesity are insulin resistance and altered glucose and lipid metabolism within the liver. It has previously been described that insulin receptor isoform A (IRA) favors glucose uptake and glycogen storage in hepatocytes compared with isoform B (IRB), improving glucose homeostasis in mice lacking liver insulin receptor.

Thus, we hypothesized that IRA could also improve glucose and lipid metabolism in a mouse model of high-fat-diet-induced obesity. We addressed the role of insulin receptor isoforms in glucose and lipid metabolism in vivo We expressed IRA or IRB specifically in the liver by using adeno-associated viruses (AAVs) in a mouse model of diet-induced insulin resistance and obesity. IRA, but not IRB, expression induced increased glucose uptake in the liver and muscle, improving insulin tolerance. Regarding lipid metabolism, we found that AAV-mediated IRA expression also ameliorated hepatic steatosis by decreasing the expression of Fasn, Pgc1a, Acaca and Dgat2 and increasing Scd-1 expression.

Taken together, our results further unravel the role of insulin receptor isoforms in hepatic glucose and lipid metabolism in an insulin-resistant scenario. Our data strongly suggest that IRA is more efficient than IRB at favoring hepatic glucose uptake, improving insulin tolerance and ameliorating hepatic steatosis. Therefore, we conclude that a gene therapy approach for hepatic IRA expression could be a safe and promising tool for the regulation of hepatic glucose consumption and lipid metabolism, two key processes in the development of non-alcoholic fatty liver disease associated with obesity.This article has an associated First Person interview with the first author of the paper.

CITATION  Dis Model Mech. 2019 Feb 7;12(2):dmm036186. doi: 10.1242/dmm.036186.

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