Selective Hepatic Insulin Resistance, Very-Low-Density Lipoprotein Hypersecretion and Hypertriglyceridemia
Insulin plays a central role in regulating energy metabolism, including hepatic transport of very low-density lipoprotein (VLDL)–associated triglyceride. Hepatic hypersecretion of VLDL and consequent hypertriglyceridemia leads to lower circulating high–density lipoprotein levels and to generation of small dense low-density lipoprotein characteristic of the dyslipidemia commonly observed in metabolic syndrome and type 2 diabetes mellitus. Physiological fluctuations of insulin modulate VLDL secretion, and insulin inhibition of VLDL secretion upon feeding may be the first pathway to become resistant in obesity that leads to VLDL hypersecretion. This review summarizes the role of insulin–related signaling pathways that determine hepatic VLDL production. Disruption in signaling pathways that reduce generation of the second messenger phosphatidylinositide (3,4,5) triphosphate downstream of activated phosphatidylinositide 3-kinase underlies the development of VLDL hypersecretion. As insulin resistance progresses, a number of pathways are altered that further augment VLDL hypersecretion, including hepatic inflammatory pathways. Insulin plays a complex role in regulating glucose metabolism, and it is not surprising that the role of insulin in VLDL and lipid metabolism will prove equally complex.
- Received March 20, 2012.
- Accepted June 28, 2012.
- © 2012 American Heart Association, Inc.