Predictors of whole-body insulin sensitivity across ages and adiposity in adult humans

Antigoni Z. Lalia, Surendra Dasari, Matthew L. Johnson, Matthew M. Robinson, Adam R. Konopka, Klaus DIstelmaier, John D. Port, Maria T. Glavin, Raul Ruiz Esponda, K. Sreekumaran Nair, Ian R. Lanza

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

33 Scopus citations


Context: Numerous factors are purported to influence insulin sensitivity incluDing age, adiposity, mitochondrial function, and physical fitness. Univariate associations cannot address the complexity of insulin resistance or the interrelationship among potential determinants. Objective: The objective of the study was to identify significant independent predictors of insulin sensitivity across a range of age and adiposity in humans. Design, Setting, and Participants: Peripheral and hepatic insulin sensitivity were measured by two stage hyperinsulinemic-euglycemic clamps in 116 men and women (aged 19-78 y). Insulin-stimulated glucose disposal, the suppression of endogenous glucose production during hyperinsulinemia, and homeostatic model assessment of insulin resistance were tested for associations with 11 potential predictors. Abdominal subcutaneous fat, visceral fat (AFVISC), intrahepatic lipid, and intramyocellular lipid (IMCL) were quantified by magnetic resonance imaging and spectroscopy. Skeletal muscle mitochondrial respiratory capacity (state 3), coupling efficiency, and reactive oxygen species production were evaluated from muscle biopsies. Aerobic fitness was measured from whole-body maximum oxygen uptake (VO2 peak), and metabolic flexibility was determined using indirect calorimetry. Results: Multiple regression analysis revealed that AFVISC (P .0001) and intrahepatic lipid (P < .002)wereindependent negative predictors of peripheral insulin sensitivity, whereasVO2peak(P .0007) and IMCL (P.023) were positive predictors. Mitochondrial capacity and efficiency were not independent determinants of peripheral insulin sensitivity. The suppression of endogenous glucose production during hyperinsulinemia model of hepatic insulin sensitivity revealed percentage fat (P.0001) andAFVISC (P.001) as significant negative predictors. Modeling homeostatic model assessment of insulin resistance identified AFVISC (P .0001), VO2 peak (P < .001), and IMCL (P < .01) as independent predictors. Conclusion: The reduction in insulin sensitivity observed with aging is driven primarily by agerelated changes in the content and distribution of adipose tissue and is independent of muscle mitochondrial function or chronological age.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)626-634
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 2016

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism
  • Biochemistry
  • Endocrinology
  • Clinical Biochemistry
  • Biochemistry, medical


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