To determine the effects of peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor α (PPARα) and retinoid X receptor (RXR) agonists on insulin action, we investigated the effects of Wy-14643 and 9-cis-retinoic acid (9-cis-RA) on insulin signalling and glucose uptake in human myotubes.Methods
Primary cultures of differentiated human skeletal muscle cells, established from healthy subjects and Type 2 diabetic patients, were used to study the effects of Wy-14643 and 9-cis-RA on the expression and activity of proteins involved in the insulin signalling cascade. Glucose transport was assessed by measuring the rate of [3H]2-deoxyglucose uptake.Results
Wy-14643 and 9-cis-RA increased IRS-2 and p85α phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase (PI 3-kinase) mRNA and protein expression in myotubes from non-diabetic and Type 2 diabetic subjects. This resulted in increased insulin stimulation of protein kinase B phosphorylation and increased glucose uptake in cells from control subjects. Myotubes from diabetic patients displayed marked alterations in the stimulation by insulin of the IRS-1/PI 3-kinase pathway. These alterations were associated with blunted stimulation of glucose transport. Treatment with Wy-14643 and 9-cis-RA did not restore these defects but increased the basal rate of glucose uptake.Conclusions/interpretation
These results demonstrate that PPARα and RXR agonists can directly affect insulin signalling in human muscle cells. They also indicate that an increase in the IRS-2/PI 3-kinase pathway does not overcome the impaired stimulation of the IRS-1-dependent pathway and does not restore insulin-stimulated glucose uptake in myotubes from Type 2 diabetic patients.