Oleate protects against palmitate-induced insulin resistance in L6 myotubes

Dan Gao, Helen R. Griffiths, Clifford J. Bailey

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Oleate has been shown to protect against palmitate-induced insulin resistance. The present study investigates mechanisms involved in the interaction between oleate and palmitate on insulin-stimulated glucose uptake by L6 skeletal muscle cells. L6 myotubes were cultured for 6 h with palmitate or oleate alone, and combinations of palmitate with oleate, with and without phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase (PI3-kinase) inhibition. Insulin-stimulated glucose uptake, measured by uptake of 2-deoxy-d-[3H]glucose, was almost completely prevented by 300 microm-palmitate. Cells incubated with oleate up to 750 micromol/l maintained a significant increase in insulin-stimulated glucose uptake. Co-incubation of 50-300 microm-oleate with 300 microm-palmitate partially prevented the decrease in insulin-stimulated glucose uptake associated with palmitate. Adding the PI3-kinase inhibitors wortmannin (10- 7 mol/l) or LY294002 (25 micromol/l) to 50 microm-oleate plus 300 microm-palmitate significantly reduced the beneficial effect of oleate against palmitate-induced insulin resistance, indicating that activation of PI3-kinase is involved in the protective effect of oleate. Thus, the prevention of palmitate-induced insulin resistance by oleate in L6 muscle cells is associated with the ability of oleate to maintain insulin signalling through PI3-kinase.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1557-1563
Number of pages7
JournalBritish Journal of Nutrition
Issue number11
Publication statusPublished - 22 Jul 2009


  • androstadienes
  • animals
  • cell membrane
  • cell survival
  • cultured cells
  • chromones
  • deoxyglucose
  • drug dose-response relationship
  • enzyme inhibitors
  • insulin resistance
  • morpholines
  • skeletal muscle fibers
  • skeletal myoblasts
  • oleic acid
  • palmitates
  • phosphatidylinositol 3-kinases
  • rats


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