Aims/hypothesis: Defective oxidation of long-chain fatty acids is a feature of insulin resistance and Type 2 diabetes. Our aim was to compare the expression levels of the genes encoding the major proteins and enzymes of this pathway in skeletal muscle of healthy subjects and Type 2 diabetic patients.
Methods: The basal and insulin-regulated mRNA concentration of 16 genes was quantified using real-time PCR in skeletal muscle biopsies taken before and at the end of a 3-hour hyperinsulinaemic-euglycaemic clamp in healthy lean subjects and in insulin-resistant obese patients with manifest Type 2 diabetes.
Results: Acetyl CoA carboxylase-2 mRNA expression was increased 2.5-fold in the muscle of the diabetic patients. The expression of carnitine palmitoyl transferase-1, of the two adiponectin receptors and of genes involved in fatty acid transport and activation was not altered in diabetic patients. Hyperinsulinaemia for 3 hours increased the expression of several genes of fatty acid oxidation, including adiponectin receptor-1 and peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor gamma coactivator-1 alpha. It also reduced pyruvate dehydrogenase 4 mRNA levels. The effects of insulin on gene expression were markedly altered in the muscle of Type 2 diabetic patients except for adiponectin receptor-1 and pyruvate dehydrogenase 4 mRNAs.
Conclusions/interpretation: The expression of adiponectin receptors was not altered in the muscle of Type 2 diabetic patients. The observed overexpression of acetyl CoA carboxylase-2 is consistent with the hypothesis that increased skeletal muscle malonyl CoA concentrations in Type 2 diabetes may contribute to the inhibition of long-chain fatty acid oxidation.