Interleukin-6 Increases Insulin-Stimulated Glucose Disposal in Humans and Glucose Uptake and Fatty Acid Oxidation In Vitro via AMP-Activated Protein Kinase Journal Articles uri icon

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  • Although interleukin-6 (IL-6) has been associated with insulin resistance, little is known regarding the effects of IL-6 on insulin sensitivity in humans in vivo. Here, we show that IL-6 infusion increases glucose disposal without affecting the complete suppression of endogenous glucose production during a hyperinsulinemic-euglycemic clamp in healthy humans. Because skeletal muscle accounts for most of the insulin-stimulated glucose disposal in vivo, we examined the mechanism(s) by which IL-6 may affect muscle metabolism using L6 myotubes. IL-6 treatment increased fatty acid oxidation, basal and insulin-stimulated glucose uptake, and translocation of GLUT4 to the plasma membrane. Furthermore, IL-6 rapidly and markedly increased AMP-activated protein kinase (AMPK). To determine whether the activation of AMPK mediated cellular metabolic events, we conducted experiments using L6 myotubes infected with dominant-negative AMPK α-subunit. The effects described above were abrogated in AMPK dominant-negative–infected cells. Our results demonstrate that acute IL-6 treatment enhances insulin-stimulated glucose disposal in humans in vivo, while the effects of IL-6 on glucose and fatty acid metabolism in vitro appear to be mediated by AMPK.


  • Carey, Andrew L
  • Steinberg, Gregory
  • Macaulay, S Lance
  • Thomas, Walter G
  • Holmes, Anna G
  • Ramm, Georg
  • Prelovsek, Oja
  • Hohnen-Behrens, Cordula
  • Watt, Matthew J
  • James, David E
  • Kemp, Bruce E
  • Pedersen, Bente K
  • Febbraio, Mark A

publication date

  • October 1, 2006

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