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Overexpression of carnitine palmitoyltransferase-1 in skeletal muscle is sufficient to enhance fatty acid oxidation and improve high-fat diet-induced insulin resistance


OBJECTIVE: Skeletal muscle insulin resistance is associated with lipid accumulation, but whether insulin resistance is due to reduced or enhanced flux of long-chain fatty acids into the mitochondria is both controversial and unclear. We hypothesized that skeletal muscle-specific overexpression of the muscle isoform of carnitine palmitoyltransferase 1 (CPT1), the enzyme that controls the entry of long-chain fatty acyl CoA into mitochondria, would enhance rates of fatty acid oxidation and improve insulin action in muscle in high-fat diet insulin-resistant rats. RESEARCH DESIGN AND METHODS: Rats were fed a standard (chow) or high-fat diet for 4 weeks. After 3 weeks, in vivo electrotransfer was used to overexpress the muscle isoform of CPT1 in the distal hindlimb muscles (tibialis anterior and extensor digitorum longus [EDL]). Skeletal muscle insulin action was examined in vivo during a hyperinsulinemic-euglycemic clamp. RESULTS: In vivo electrotransfer produced a physiologically relevant increase of approximately 20% in enzyme activity; and although the high-fat diet produced insulin resistance in the sham-treated muscle, insulin action was improved in the CPT1-overexpressing muscle. This improvement was associated with a reduction in triacylglycerol content, the membrane-to-cytosolic ratio of diacylglycerol, and protein kinase C theta activity. Importantly, overexpression of CPT1 did not affect markers of mitochondrial capacity or function, nor did it alter skeletal muscle acylcarnitine profiles irrespective of diet. CONCLUSIONS: Our data provide clear evidence that a physiological increase in the capacity of long-chain fatty acyl CoA entry into mitochondria is sufficient to ameliorate lipid-induced insulin resistance in muscle.

Type Journal
ISBN 1939-327X (Electronic)
Authors Bruce, C. R.; Hoy, A. J.; Turner, N.; Watt, M. J.; Allen, T. L.; Carpenter, K.; Cooney, G. J.; Febbraio, M. A.; Kraegen, E. W.;
Publisher Name DIABETES
Published Date 2009-01-01
Published Volume 58
Published Issue 3
Published Pages 550-8
Status Published in-print
URL link to publisher's version
OpenAccess link to author's accepted manuscript version