Abstract Title:

Vitamin C deficiency aggravates tumor necrosis factorα-induced insulin resistance.

Abstract Source:

Eur J Pharmacol. 2018 Apr 3. Epub 2018 Apr 3. PMID: 29625084

Abstract Author(s):

Zhou Qing, Wu Xiao-Hui, Wu Xi-Mei, Zou Chao-Chun

Article Affiliation:

Zhou Qing


Chronic low-grade inflammation plays a major role in the development of insulin resistance. The potential role and underlying mechanism of vitamin C, an antioxidant and anti-inflammatory agent, was investigated in tumor necrosis factor-α (TNF-α)-induced insulin resistance. Gulonolactone oxidase knockout (Gulo) mice genetically unable to synthesize vitamin C were used to induce insulin resistance by continuously pumping small doses of TNF-α for seven days, and human liver hepatocellular carcinoma cells (HepG2 cells) were used to induce insulin resistance by treatment with TNF-α. Vitamin C deficiency aggravated TNF-α-induced insulin resistance in Gulomice, resulting in worse glucose tolerance test (GTT) results, higher fasting plasma insulin level, and the inactivation of the protein kinase B (AKT)/glycogen synthase kinase-3β (GSK3β) pathway in the liver. Vitamin C deficiency also worsened liver lipid accumulation and inflammation in TNF-α-treated Gulomice. In HepG2 cells, vitamin C reversed the TNF-α-induced reduction of glucose uptake and glycogen synthesis, which were mediated by increasing GLUT2 levels and the activation of the insulin receptor substrate (IRS-1)/AKT/GSK3β pathway. Furthermore, vitamin C inhibited the TNF-α-induced activation of not only the mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPKs), but also nuclear factor-kappa B (NF-κB) signaling. Taken together, vitamin C is essential for preventing and improving insulin resistance, and the supplementing with vitamin C may be an effective therapeutic intervention for metabolic disorders.

Study Type : Animal Study

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