Transgenic mice overexpressing human G972R IRS-1 show impaired insulin action and insulin secretion

Marta L. Hribal, F. Tornei, A. Pujol, R. Menghini, D. Barcaroli, D. Lauro, R. Amoruso, R. Lauro, F. Bosch, G. Sesti, M. Federici

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Molecular scanning of human insulin receptor substrate (Irs) genes revealed a single lrs1 prevalent variant, a glycine to arginine change at codon 972 (G972R); previous in vitro studies had demonstrated that the presence of this variant results in an impaired activation of the insulin signalling pathway, while human studies gave controversial results regarding its role in the pathogenesis of insulin resistance and related diseases. To address in vivo impact of this IRS-1 variant on whole body glucose homeostasis and insulin signalling, we have generated transgenic mice overexpressing it (Tg972) and evaluated insulin action in the liver, skeletal muscle and adipose tissue and assessed glucose homeostasis both under a normal diet and a high-fat diet. We found that Tg972 mice developed age-related glucose and insulin intolerance and hyperglycaemia, with insulin levels comparatively low. Glucose utilization and insulin signalling were impaired in all key insulin target tissues in Tg972 mice. There were no differences in pancreatic morphology between Tg972 and wild-type mice, however when insulin secretion was evaluated in isolated islets, it was significantly reduced in Tg972 mice islets at any glucose concentration tested. Under a high-fat diet, Tg972 mice had increased body and adipose tissue weight, and were more prone to develop diet-induced glucose and insulin intolerance. So, we believe that Tg972 mice may represent a useful model to elucidate the interaction between genetic and environmental factors in insulin resistance pathogenesis. Furthermore, they may become an important tool to test novel tailored therapies. © 2007 The Authors.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2096-2106
JournalJournal of Cellular and Molecular Medicine
Issue number5B
Publication statusPublished - 1 Oct 2008


  • Glucose intolerance
  • Insulin resistance
  • Insulin signalling
  • Mouse model


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