Hyperinsulinemia Precedes Insulin Resistance in Mice Lacking Pancreatic β-Cell Leptin Signaling Academic Article uri icon

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  • The adipocyte hormone leptin acts centrally and peripherally to regulate body weight and glucose homeostasis. The pancreatic β-cell has been shown to be a key peripheral target of leptin, with leptin suppressing insulin synthesis and secretion from β-cells both in vitro and in vivo. Mice with disrupted leptin signaling in β-cells (leprflox/flox RIPcre tg+ mice) display hyperinsulinemia, insulin resistance, glucose intolerance, obesity, and reduced fasting blood glucose. We hypothesized that hyperinsulinemia precedes the development of insulin resistance and increased adiposity in these mice with a defective adipoinsular axis. To determine the primary defect after impaired β-cell leptin signaling, we treated leprflox/flox RIPcre tg+ mice with the insulin sensitizer metformin or the insulin-lowering agent diazoxide with the rationale that pharmacological improvement of the primary defect would alleviate the secondary symptoms. We show that improving insulin sensitivity with metformin does not normalize hyperinsulinemia, whereas lowering insulin levels with diazoxide improves insulin sensitivity. Taken together, these results suggest that hyperinsulinemia precedes insulin resistance in β-cell leptin receptor-deficient mice, with insulin resistance developing as a secondary consequence of excessive insulin secretion. Therefore, pancreatic β-cell leptin receptor-deficient mice may represent a model of obesity-associated insulin resistance that is initiated by hyperinsulinemia.


  • Gray, Sarah L
  • Donald, Christine
  • Jetha, Arif
  • Covey, Scott D
  • Kieffer, Timothy J

publication date

  • September 1, 2010

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