Elevated toll-like receptor 4 expression and signaling in muscle from insulin-resistant subjects

Sara M. Reyna, Sangeeta Ghosh, Puntip Tantiwong, C. S.Reddy Meka Meka, Phyllis Eagan, Christopher P. Jenkinson, Eugenio Cersosimo, Ralph A. Defronzo, Dawn K. Coletta, Apiradee Sriwijitkamol, Nicolas Musi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

248 Scopus citations

Abstract

OBJECTIVE-Tall-like receptor (TLR)4 has been implicated in the pathogenesis of free fatty acid (FFA)-induced insulin resistance by activating inflammatory pathways, including inhibitor of κB(IκB)/nuclear factor κB (NFκB). However, it is not known whether insulin-resistant subjects have abnormal TLR4 signaling. We examined whether insulin-resistant subjects have abnormal TLR4 expression and TLR4-driven (IκB/NFκB) signaling in skeletal muscle. RESEARCH DESIGN AND METHODS-TLR4 gene expression and protein content were measured in muscle biopsies in 7 lean, 8 obese, and 14 type 2 diabetic subjects. A primary human myotube culture system was used to examine whether FFAs stimulate IκB/NFκB via TLR4 and whether FFAs increase TLR4 expression/content in muscle. RESULTS-Obese and type 2 diabetic subjects had significantly elevated TLR4 gene expression and protein content in muscle. TLR4 muscle protein content correlated with the severity of insulin resistance. Obese and type 2 diabetic subjects also had lower IκBα; content, an indication of elevated IκB/NFκB signaling. The increase in TLR4 and NFκB signaling was accompanied by elevated expression of the NFκB-regulated genes interleukin (IL)-6 and superoxide dismutase (SOD)2. In primary human myotubes, acute palmitate treatment stimulated IκB/NFκB, and blockade of TLR4 prevented the ability of palmitate to stimulate the IκB/NFκB pathway. Increased TLR4 content and gene expression observed in muscle from insulin-resistant subjects were reproduced by treating myotubes from lean, normal-glucose-tolerant subjects with palmitate. Palmitate also increased IL-6 and SOD2 gene expression, and this effect was prevented by inhibiting NFκB. CONCLUSIONS-Abnormal TLR4 expression and signaling, possibly caused by elevated plasma FFA levels, may contribute to the pathogenesis of insulin resistance in humans.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2595-2602
Number of pages8
JournalDiabetes
Volume57
Issue number10
DOIs
StatePublished - Oct 2008

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Internal Medicine
  • Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism

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    Reyna, S. M., Ghosh, S., Tantiwong, P., Meka, C. S. R. M., Eagan, P., Jenkinson, C. P., Cersosimo, E., Defronzo, R. A., Coletta, D. K., Sriwijitkamol, A., & Musi, N. (2008). Elevated toll-like receptor 4 expression and signaling in muscle from insulin-resistant subjects. Diabetes, 57(10), 2595-2602. https://doi.org/10.2337/db08-0038