A predominant role for parenchymal c-Jun amino terminal kinase (JNK) in the regulation of systemic insulin sensitivity

PLoS One. 2008 Sep 5;3(9):e3151. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0003151.


It has been established that c-Jun N-terminal kinase 1 (JNK1) is essential to the pathogenesis of insulin resistance and type 2 diabetes. Although JNK influences inflammatory signaling pathways, it remains unclear whether its activity in macrophages contributes to adipose tissue inflammation and ultimately to the regulation of systemic metabolism. To address whether the action of this critical inflammatory kinase in bone marrow-derived elements regulates inflammatory responses in obesity and is sufficient and necessary for the deterioration of insulin sensitivity, we performed bone marrow transplantation studies with wild type and JNK1-deficient mice. These studies illustrated that JNK1-deficiency in the bone marrow-derived elements (BMDE) was insufficient to impact macrophage infiltration or insulin sensitivity despite modest changes in the inflammatory profile of adipose tissue. Only when the parenchymal elements lacked JNK1 could we demonstrate a significant increase in systemic insulin sensitivity. These data indicate that while the JNK1 activity in BMDE is involved in metabolic regulation and adipose milieu, it is epistatic to JNK1 activity in the parenchymal tissue for regulation of metabolic homeostasis.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adipose Tissue / metabolism
  • Animals
  • Bone Marrow Transplantation
  • Inflammation
  • Insulin / metabolism*
  • Insulin Resistance
  • JNK Mitogen-Activated Protein Kinases / metabolism*
  • Lipids / chemistry
  • Liver / metabolism
  • Macrophages / metabolism
  • Mice
  • Mice, Inbred C57BL
  • Mice, Transgenic
  • Mitogen-Activated Protein Kinase 8 / metabolism
  • Triglycerides / metabolism


  • Insulin
  • Lipids
  • Triglycerides
  • JNK Mitogen-Activated Protein Kinases
  • Mitogen-Activated Protein Kinase 8