Insulin resistance plays a key role in the pathogenesis of several human diseases, including diabetes, obesity, hypertension, and cardiovascular diseases. The predisposition to insulin resistance results from genetic and environmental factors. The search for gene variants that predispose to insulin resistance has been thwarted by its genetically heterogeneous pathogenesis. However, using techniques of targeted mutagenesis and transgenesis in rodents, investigators have developed mouse models to test critical hypotheses on the pathogenesis of insulin resistance. Moreover, experimental crosses among mutant mice have shed light onto the polygenic nature of the interactions underlying this complex metabolic condition.