Increased insulin and leptin sensitivity in mice lacking acyl CoA:diacylglycerol acyltransferase 1

J Clin Invest. 2002 Apr;109(8):1049-55. doi: 10.1172/JCI14672.


Acyl coenzyme A:diacylglycerol acyltransferase 1 (DGAT1) is one of two known DGAT enzymes that catalyze the final step in mammalian triglyceride synthesis. DGAT1-deficient mice are resistant to diet-induced obesity through a mechanism involving increased energy expenditure. Here we show that these mice have decreased levels of tissue triglycerides, as well as increased sensitivity to insulin and to leptin. Importantly, DGAT1 deficiency protects against insulin resistance and obesity in agouti yellow mice, a model of severe leptin resistance. In contrast, DGAT1 deficiency did not affect energy and glucose metabolism in leptin-deficient (ob/ob) mice, possibly due in part to a compensatory upregulation of DGAT2 expression in the absence of leptin. Our results suggest that inhibition of DGAT1 may be useful in treating insulin resistance and leptin resistance in human obesity.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Acyltransferases / deficiency*
  • Acyltransferases / genetics
  • Acyltransferases / metabolism
  • Adipocytes / pathology
  • Animals
  • Cell Size
  • Diacylglycerol O-Acyltransferase
  • Energy Metabolism
  • Humans
  • Insulin / pharmacology*
  • Insulin Resistance
  • Leptin / pharmacology*
  • Lipid Metabolism
  • Mice
  • Mice, Inbred C57BL
  • Mice, Knockout
  • Mice, Mutant Strains
  • Mice, Obese
  • Obesity / etiology
  • Obesity / metabolism
  • Tissue Distribution
  • Triglycerides / metabolism
  • Weight Loss / drug effects


  • Insulin
  • Leptin
  • Triglycerides
  • Acyltransferases
  • DGAT1 protein, human
  • DGAT2 protein, human
  • Dgat1 protein, mouse
  • Diacylglycerol O-Acyltransferase