Lipid-induced Insulin Resistance Is Associated With an Impaired Skeletal Muscle Protein Synthetic Response to Amino Acid Ingestion in Healthy Young Men

Diabetes. 2015 May;64(5):1615-20. doi: 10.2337/db14-0961. Epub 2014 Dec 18.


The ability to maintain skeletal muscle mass appears to be impaired in insulin-resistant conditions, such as type 2 diabetes, that are characterized by muscle lipid accumulation. The current study investigated the effect of acutely increasing lipid availability on muscle protein synthesis. Seven healthy young male volunteers underwent a 7-h intravenous infusion of l-[ring-(2)H5]phenylalanine on two randomized occasions combined with 0.9% saline or 10% Intralipid at 100 mL/h. After a 4-h "basal" period, a 21-g bolus of amino acids was administered and a 3-h hyperinsulinemic-euglycemic clamp was commenced ("fed" period). Muscle biopsy specimens were obtained from the vastus lateralis at 1.5, 4, and 7 h. Lipid infusion reduced fed whole-body glucose disposal by 20%. Furthermore, whereas the mixed muscle fractional synthetic rate increased from the basal to the fed period during saline infusion by 2.2-fold, no change occurred during lipid infusion, despite similar circulating insulin and leucine concentrations. This "anabolic resistance" to insulin and amino acids with lipid infusion was associated with a complete suppression of muscle 4E-BP1 phosphorylation. We propose that increased muscle lipid availability may contribute to anabolic resistance in insulin-resistant conditions by impairing translation initiation.

Publication types

  • Randomized Controlled Trial
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Amino Acids / pharmacology*
  • Emulsions / pharmacology
  • Gene Expression Regulation / drug effects*
  • Glucose / metabolism
  • Humans
  • Insulin Resistance / physiology*
  • Male
  • Muscle Proteins / genetics
  • Muscle Proteins / metabolism*
  • Muscle, Skeletal / metabolism*
  • Phospholipids / pharmacology*
  • Signal Transduction
  • Soybean Oil / pharmacology*
  • Young Adult


  • Amino Acids
  • Emulsions
  • Muscle Proteins
  • Phospholipids
  • soybean oil, phospholipid emulsion
  • Soybean Oil
  • Glucose