Autotaxin-LPA signaling contributes to obesity-induced insulin resistance in muscle and impairs mitochondrial metabolism

Kenneth D'Souza, Carine Nzirorera, Andrew M. Cowie, Geena P. Varghese, Purvi Trivedi, Thomas O. Eichmann, Dipsikha Biswas, Mohamed Touaibia, Andrew J. Morris, Vassilis Aidinis, Daniel A. Kane, Thomas Pulinilkunnil, Petra C. Kienesberger

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

40 Scopus citations


Autotaxin (ATX) is an adipokine that generates the bioactive lipid, lysophosphatidic acid (LPA). ATX-LPA signaling has been implicated in diet-induced obesity and systemic insulin resistance. However, it remains unclear whether the ATX-LPA pathway influences insulin function and energy metabolism in target tissues, particularly skeletal muscle, the major site of insulin-stimulated glucose disposal. The objective of this study was to test whether the ATX-LPA pathway impacts tissue insulin signaling and mitochondrial metabolism in skeletal muscle during obesity. Male mice with heterozygous ATX deficiency (ATX+/) were protected from obesity, systemic insulin resistance, and cardiomyocyte dysfunction following high-fat high-sucrose (HFHS) feeding. HFHS-fed ATX+/ mice also had improved insulin-stimulated AKT phosphorylation in white adipose tissue, liver, heart, and skeletal muscle. Preserved insulin-stimulated glucose transport in muscle from HFHS-fed ATX+/ mice was associated with improved mitochondrial pyruvate oxidation in the absence of changes in fat oxidation and ectopic lipid accumulation. Similarly, incubation with LPA decreased insulin-stimulated AKT phosphorylation and mitochondrial energy metabolism in C2C12 myotubes at baseline and following palmitate-induced insulin resistance. Taken together, our results suggest that the ATX-LPA pathway contributes to obesity-induced insulin resistance in metabolically relevant tissues. Our data also suggest that LPA directly impairs skeletal muscle insulin signaling and mitochondrial function.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1805-1817
Number of pages13
JournalJournal of Lipid Research
Issue number10
StatePublished - 2018

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2018 American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology Inc. All rights reserved.


  • Diet effects/lipid metabolism
  • Glucose
  • Pyruvate
  • Respiration
  • Skeletal muscle

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Endocrinology
  • Cell Biology


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