Endocrine Journal
Online ISSN : 1348-4540
Print ISSN : 0918-8959
ISSN-L : 0918-8959
Unraveling the mysteries of hepatic insulin signaling: deconvoluting the nuclear targets of insulin
Takumi Kitamoto Domenico Accili
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2023 Volume 70 Issue 9 Pages 851-866


Over 100 years have passed since insulin was first administered to a diabetic patient. Since then great strides have been made in diabetes research. It has determined where insulin is secreted from, which organs it acts on, how it is transferred into the cell and is delivered to the nucleus, how it orchestrates the expression pattern of the genes, and how it works with each organ to maintain systemic metabolism. Any breakdown in this system leads to diabetes. Thanks to the numerous researchers who have dedicated their lives to cure diabetes, we now know that there are three major organs where insulin acts to maintain glucose/lipid metabolism: the liver, muscles, and fat. The failure of insulin action on these organs, such as insulin resistance, result in hyperglycemia and/or dyslipidemia. The primary trigger of this condition and its association among these tissues still remain to be uncovered. Among the major organs, the liver finely tunes the glucose/lipid metabolism to maintain metabolic flexibility, and plays a crucial role in glucose/lipid abnormality due to insulin resistance. Insulin resistance disrupts this tuning, and selective insulin resistance arises. The glucose metabolism loses its sensitivity to insulin, while the lipid metabolism maintains it. The clarification of its mechanism is warranted to reverse the metabolic abnormalities due to insulin resistance. This review will provide a brief historical review for the progress of the pathophysiology of diabetes since the discovery of insulin, followed by a review of the current research clarifying our understanding of selective insulin resistance.

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© The Japan Endocrine Society
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