Interaction between BTBR and C57BL/6J genomes produces an insulin resistance syndrome in (BTBR x C57BL/6J) F1 mice

T. Ranheim, C. Dumke, K. L. Schueler, G. D. Cartee, A. D. Attie

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61 Scopus citations


Insulin resistance is a common syndrome that often precedes the development of noninsulin-dependent diabetes mellitus (NIDDM). Both diet and genetic factors are associated with insulin resistance. BTBR and C57BL/6J (B6) mice have normal insulin responsiveness and normal fasting plasma insulin levels. However, a cross between these two strains yielded male offspring with severe insulin resistance. Surprisingly, on a basal diet (6.5%o fat), the insulin resistance was not associated with fasting hyperinsulinemia. However, a 15% fat diet produced significant hyperinsulinemia in the male mice (twofold at 10 weeks; P<.05). At 10 weeks of age, visceral fat contributed approximately 4.3% of the total body weight in the males versus 1.8% in females. In the males, levels of plasma triacylglycerol and total cholesterol increased 40% and 30%, respectively, compared to females. Plasma free fatty acid concentrations were unchanged. Oral glucose tolerance tests revealed significant levels of hyperglycemia and hyperinsulinemia 15 to 90 minutes after oral glucose administration in the male mice. This was particularly dramatic in males on a 15% fat diet. Glucose transport was examined in skeletal muscles in (BTBRXB6)F1 mice. In the nonhyperinsulinemic animals (females), insulin stimulated 2-deoxyglucose transport 3.5-fold in the soleus and 2.8-fold in the extensor digitorum longus muscles. By contrast, glucose transport was not stimulated in the hyperinsulinemic male mice. Hypoxia stimulates glucose transport through an insulin-independent mechanism. This is known to involve the translocation of GLUT4 from an intracellular pool to the plasma membrane. In the insulin- resistant male mice, hypoxia induced glucose transport as effectively as it did in the insulin-responsive mice. Thus, defective glucose transport in the (BTBRxB6)F1 mice is specific for insulin-stimulated glucose transport. This is similar to what has been observed in muscles taken from obese NIDDM patients. These animals represent an excellent genetic model for studying insulin resistance and investigating the transition from insulin resistance in the absence of hyperinsulinemia to insulin resistance with hyperinsulinemia.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3286-3293
Number of pages8
JournalArteriosclerosis, Thrombosis, and Vascular Biology
Issue number11
StatePublished - 1997


  • Diabetes
  • Genomes
  • Insulin resistance


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