Insulin resistance in the defense against obesity

Cell Metab. 2012 Jun 6;15(6):798-804. doi: 10.1016/j.cmet.2012.03.001.


In the face of the current obesity epidemic, the nature of the relationship between overnutrition and type 2 diabetes is of great importance. Obesity can be considered a state of excessive insulin action that elicits a series of cellular homeostatic responses, producing systemic insulin resistance. These responses occur in four steps: homologous desensitization to insulin action, leptin secretion, inflammation, and, finally, a counter-inflammatory phase that serves to conserve energy storage. The molecular mechanisms underlying these steps are discussed in the context of potential new therapeutic approaches.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 2 / etiology*
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 2 / metabolism
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 2 / pathology
  • Energy Metabolism
  • Humans
  • Inflammation
  • Insulin / physiology
  • Insulin Resistance*
  • Leptin / physiology
  • Obesity / complications*
  • Obesity / metabolism
  • Obesity / pathology


  • Insulin
  • Leptin