Partial disruption of lipolysis increases postexercise insulin sensitivity in skeletal muscle despite accumulation of DAG

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Type 2 diabetes and skeletal muscle insulin resistance have been linked to accumulation of the intramyocellular lipid-intermediate diacylglycerol (DAG). However, recent animal and human studies have questioned such an association. Given that DAG appears in different stereoisomers and has different reactivity in vitro, we investigated whether the described function of DAGs as mediators of lipid-induced insulin resistance was dependent on the different DAG isomers. We measured insulin-stimulated glucose uptake in hormone-sensitive lipase (HSL) knockout (KO) mice after treadmill exercise to stimulate the accumulation of DAGs in skeletal muscle. We found that, despite an increased DAG content in muscle after exercise in HSL KO mice, the HSL KO mice showed a higher insulin-stimulated glucose uptake postexercise compared with wild-type mice. Further analysis of the chemical structure and cellular localization of DAG in skeletal muscle revealed that HSL KO mice accumulated sn-1,3 DAG and not sn-1,2 DAG. Accordingly, these results highlight the importance of taking the chemical structure and cellular localization of DAG into account when evaluating the role of DAG in lipid-induced insulin resistance in skeletal muscle and that the accumulation of sn-1,3 DAG originating from lipolysis does not inhibit insulin-stimulated glucose uptake.


  • Annette Karen Serup
  • Thomas Junker Alsted
  • Andreas BØrsting Jordy
  • Peter Schjerling
  • Cecilia Holm
  • Bente Kiens
External organisations
  • Novo Nordisk A/S
  • University of Copenhagen
Research areas and keywords

Subject classification (UKÄ) – MANDATORY

  • Endocrinology and Diabetes
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2932-2942
Number of pages11
Issue number10
Publication statusPublished - 2016 Oct 1
Publication categoryResearch