Genetic architecture of insulin resistance in the mouse

Cell Metab. 2015 Feb 3;21(2):334-347. doi: 10.1016/j.cmet.2015.01.002.


Insulin resistance (IR) is a complex trait with multiple genetic and environmental components. Confounded by large differences between the sexes, environment, and disease pathology, the genetic basis of IR has been difficult to dissect. Here we examine IR and related traits in a diverse population of more than 100 unique male and female inbred mouse strains after feeding a diet rich in fat and refined carbohydrates. Our results show dramatic variation in IR among strains of mice and widespread differences between sexes that are dependent on genotype. We uncover more than 15 genome-wide significant loci and validate a gene, Agpat5, associated with IR. We also integrate plasma metabolite levels and global gene expression from liver and adipose tissue to identify metabolite quantitative trait loci (mQTL) and expression QTL (eQTL), respectively. Our results provide a resource for analysis of interactions between diet, sex, and genetic background in IR.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • 1-Acylglycerol-3-Phosphate O-Acyltransferase / genetics
  • 1-Acylglycerol-3-Phosphate O-Acyltransferase / metabolism
  • Animals
  • Diet, High-Fat
  • Dietary Carbohydrates
  • Female
  • Genetic Variation / genetics
  • Genotype
  • Insulin Resistance / genetics*
  • Male
  • Mice
  • Mice, Inbred C3H
  • Mice, Inbred C57BL
  • Mice, Inbred DBA


  • Dietary Carbohydrates
  • 1-Acylglycerol-3-Phosphate O-Acyltransferase