Jejunal proteins secreted by db/db mice or insulin-resistant humans impair the insulin signaling and determine insulin resistance

PLoS One. 2013;8(2):e56258. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0056258. Epub 2013 Feb 20.


Background: Two recent studies demonstrated that bariatric surgery induced remission of type 2 diabetes very soon after surgery and far too early to be attributed to weight loss. In this study, we sought to explore the mechanism/s of this phenomenon by testing the effects of proteins from the duodenum-jejunum conditioned-medium (CM) of db/db or Swiss mice on glucose uptake in vivo in Swiss mice and in vitro in both Swiss mice soleus and L6 cells. We studied the effect of sera and CM proteins from insulin resistant (IR) and insulin-sensitive subjects on insulin signaling in human myoblasts.

Methodology/principal findings: db/db proteins induced massive IR either in vivo or in vitro, while Swiss proteins did not. In L6 cells, only db/db proteins produced a noticeable increase in basal (473)Ser-Akt phosphorylation, lack of GSK3β inhibition and a reduced basal (389)Thr-p70-S6K1 phosphorylation. Human IR serum markedly increased basal (473)Ser-Akt phosphorylation in a dose-dependent manner. Human CM IR proteins increased by about twofold both basal and insulin-stimulated (473)Ser-Akt. Basal (9)Ser-GSK3β phosphorylation was increased by IR subjects serum with a smaller potentiating effect of insulin.

Conclusions: These findings show that jejunal proteins either from db/db mice or from insulin resistant subjects impair muscle insulin signaling, thus inducing insulin resistance.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Animals
  • Cell Differentiation / drug effects
  • Culture Media, Conditioned / pharmacology
  • Deoxyglucose / metabolism
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Experimental / enzymology
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Experimental / pathology*
  • Glycogen Synthase Kinase 3 / metabolism
  • Glycogen Synthase Kinase 3 beta
  • Humans
  • Insulin / metabolism*
  • Insulin Resistance*
  • Jejunum / metabolism*
  • Mice
  • Mice, Inbred C57BL
  • Muscle Fibers, Skeletal / drug effects
  • Muscle Fibers, Skeletal / metabolism
  • Muscle Fibers, Skeletal / pathology
  • Phosphorylation / drug effects
  • Phosphoserine / metabolism
  • Proteins / metabolism*
  • Proto-Oncogene Proteins c-akt / metabolism
  • Ribosomal Protein S6 Kinases, 70-kDa / metabolism
  • Signal Transduction*


  • Culture Media, Conditioned
  • Insulin
  • Proteins
  • Phosphoserine
  • Deoxyglucose
  • GSK3B protein, human
  • Glycogen Synthase Kinase 3 beta
  • Gsk3b protein, mouse
  • Proto-Oncogene Proteins c-akt
  • Ribosomal Protein S6 Kinases, 70-kDa
  • Glycogen Synthase Kinase 3

Grant support

Financed by the Catholic University. The funders had no role in study design, data collection and analysis, decision to publish, or preparation of the manuscript.