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Metformin attenuates palmitic acid-induced insulin resistance in L6 cells through the AMP-activated protein kinase/sterol regulatory element-binding protein-1c pathway

Wu, W.; Tang, S.; Shi, J.; Yin, W.; Cao, S.; Bu, R.; Zhu, D.; Bi, Y.

International Journal of Molecular Medicine 35(6): 1734-1740

2015


ISSN/ISBN: 1791-244X
PMID: 25891779
DOI: 10.3892/ijmm.2015.2187
Accession: 058302755

AMP-activated protein kinase (AMPK) is an important effector of metformin action on glucose uptake in skeletal muscle cells. We recently reported that metformin improved insulin receptor substrate-1 (IRS-1)-associated insulin signaling by downregulating sterol regulatory element-binding protein-1c (SREBP-1c) expression. In this study, we investigated whether AMPK activation and SREBP-1c inhibition contribute to the beneficial effects of metformin on IRS-1-associated insulin signaling in L6 myotubes. L6 muscle cells were incubated with palmitic acid (PA) to induce insulin resistance and then treated with metformin and/or the AMPK inhibitor, compound C. AMPK, SREBP-1c, IRS-1 and Akt protein expression levels were determined by western blot analysis. The effects of metformin on SREBP-1c gene transcription were determined by a luciferase reporter assay. Glucose uptake was evaluated using the 2-NBDG method. In the PA-treated L6 cells, metformin treatment enhanced AMPK phosphorylation, reduced SREBP-1c expression and increased IRS-1 and Akt protein expression, whereas treatment with compound C blocked the effects of metformin on SREBP-1c expression and the IRS-1 and Akt levels. Moreover, metformin suppressed SREBP-1c promoter activity and promoted glucose uptake through AMPK. The results from this study demonstrate that metformin ameliorates PA-induced insulin resistance through the activation of AMPK and the suppression of SREBP-1c in skeletal muscle cells.

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