Insulin resistance (IR) affects not only the regulation of carbohydrate metabolism but all aspects of lipid and lipoprotein metabolism. IR is associated with increased secretion of VLDL and increased plasma triglycerides, as well as with hepatic steatosis, despite the increased VLDL secretion. Here we link IR with increased VLDL secretion and hepatic steatosis at both the physiologic and molecular levels. Increased VLDL secretion, together with the downstream effects on high density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol and low density lipoprotein (LDL) size, is proatherogenic. Hepatic steatosis is a risk factor for steatohepatitis and cirrhosis. Understanding the complex inter-relationships between IR and these abnormalities of liver lipid homeostasis will provide insights relevant to new therapies for these increasing clinical problems.
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