Among the multitude of dysregulated signalling mechanisms that comprise insulin resistance in divergent organs, the primary events in the development of type 2 diabetes are not well established. As protein kinase C (PKC) activation is consistently present in skeletal muscle of obese and insulin resistant subjects, we generated a transgenic mouse model that overexpresses constitutively active PKC-β2 in skeletal muscle to test whether activation of PKC is sufficient to cause an aversive whole-body phenotype. Upon this genetic modification, increased serine phosphorylation in Irs1 was observed and followed by impaired 3H-deoxy-glucose uptake and muscle glycogen content, and transgenic mice exhibited insulin and glucose intolerance as they age. Muscle histochemistry revealed an increase in lipid deposition (intramyocellular lipids), and transgenic mice displayed impaired expression of transcriptional regulators of genes involved in fatty acid oxidation (peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor-γ, PGC-1β, acyl-CoA oxidase) and lipolysis (hormone-sensitive lipase). In this regard, muscle of transgenic mice exhibited a reduced capacity to oxidize palmitate and contained less mitochondria as determined by citrate synthase activity. Moreover, the phenotype included a profound decrease in the daily running distance, intra-abdominal and hepatic fat accumulation and impaired insulin action in the brain. Together, our data suggest that activation of a classical PKC in skeletal muscle as present in the pre-diabetic state is sufficient to cause disturbances in whole-body glucose and lipid metabolism followed by profound alterations in oxidative capacity, ectopic fat deposition and physical activity. © 2008 The Authors Journal compilation © 2010 Foundation for Cellular and Molecular Medicine/Blackwell Publishing Ltd.
- Fatty acid oxidation
- Insulin action
- Intramyocellular lipid deposition
- Physical activity
- Protein kinase C