TNF-alpha and insulin resistance: summary and future prospects

Mol Cell Biochem. 1998 May;182(1-2):169-75.


While the causes of obesity remain elusive, the relationship between obesity and insulin resistance is a well-established fact [1]. Insulin resistance is defined as a smaller than normal response to a certain dose of insulin, and contributes to several pathological problems of obese patients such as hyperlipidemia, arteriosclerosis and hypertension. Several pieces of evidence indicate that the cytokine tumor necrosis factor a (TNF-alpha) is an important player in the state of insulin resistance observed during obesity. In this review we will try to summarize what is known about the function of TNF-alpha in insulin resistance during obesity and how TNF-alpha interferes with insulin signaling.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Humans
  • Insulin Resistance / physiology*
  • Signal Transduction / physiology
  • Tumor Necrosis Factor-alpha / genetics
  • Tumor Necrosis Factor-alpha / metabolism
  • Tumor Necrosis Factor-alpha / physiology*


  • Tumor Necrosis Factor-alpha