, Volume 260, Issue 1, pp 55-64

Restoration of impaired p38 activation by insulin in insulin resistant skeletal muscle cells treated with thiazolidinediones

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We have previously reported that thiazolidinediones (TZDs) are able to restore the tyrosine phosphorylation of insulin receptor and insulin receptor substrate-1, activation of phosphatidyl inositol 3-kinase and glucose uptake in insulin resistant skeletal muscle cells [21]. In this study, we investigated the effects of insulin stimulation and TZDs on the role of mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK) in insulin resistant skeletal muscle cells. All the three MAPKs [extracellular signal-regulated kinase (ERK), c-Jun N-terminal kinase (JNK) and p38 MAPK] were activated by insulin in the sensitive skeletal muscle cells. In contrast, activation of p38 MAPK was impaired in insulin resistant cells, where as ERK and JNK were activated by insulin. Treatment with TZDs resulted in the restoration of p38 MAPK activity in insulin resistant cells. The treatment of cells with p38 MAPK inhibitor, SB203580, blocked the insulin stimulated glucose uptake in sensitive as well as resistant cells and it also prevented the activation of p38 by insulin. These results suggest the potential involvement of p38 as well as the mechanistic role of TZDs in insulin resistance.