A ceramide-centric view of insulin resistance

Cell Metab. 2012 May 2;15(5):585-94. doi: 10.1016/j.cmet.2012.04.002.


The recent implementation of genomic and lipidomic approaches has produced a large body of evidence implicating the sphingolipid ceramide in a diverse range of physiological processes and as a critical modulator of cellular stress. In this review, we discuss from a historical perspective the most important discoveries produced over the last decade supporting a role for ceramide and its metabolites in the pathogenesis of insulin resistance and other obesity-associated metabolic diseases. Moreover, we describe how a ceramide-centric view of insulin resistance might be reconciled in the context of other prominent models of nutrient-induced insulin resistance.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Ceramides / metabolism*
  • Humans
  • Insulin / metabolism*
  • Insulin Resistance / physiology*
  • Metabolic Diseases / metabolism
  • Mice
  • Obesity / metabolism
  • Sphingolipids / metabolism*


  • Ceramides
  • Insulin
  • Sphingolipids