Reducing the Mitochondrial Oxidative Burden Alleviates Lipid-Induced Muscle Insulin Resistance in Humans

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Pre-clinical models suggest a causative nexus between mitochondrial oxidative stress and insulin resistance. However, the translational and pathophysiological significance of this mechanism in humans remains unclear. Herein, we employed an invasive in vivo mechanistic approach in humans to manipulate mitochondrial redox state while assessing insulin action. To this end, we combined intravenous infusion of a lipid overload with intake of a mitochondria-targeted antioxidant (mtAO) in conjunction with insulin clamp studies. During lipid overload, insulin-stimulated muscle glucose uptake, as determined by the femoral arteriovenous balance technique, was increased by mtAO. At the muscle molecular level, mtAO did not affect canonical insulin signaling but augmented insulin-stimulated GLUT4 translocation while decreasing the mitochondrial oxidative burden under lipid oversupply. Ex vivo studies revealed that mtAO ameliorated features of mitochondrial bioenergetics, including diminished mitochondrial H 2 O 2 emission, in muscle fibers exposed to high intracellular lipid levels. These findings provide translational and mechanistic evidence implicating mitochondrial oxidants in the development of lipid-induced muscle insulin resistance in humans.


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