Type 2 diabetes (T2D) is a metabolic disease associated with obesity-related insulin resistance (IR) and chronic inflammation. Animal studies indicate that IR can be caused and/or exacerbated by systemic and/or tissue-specific alterations in lymphocyte differentiation and function. Human studies also indicate that obesity-associated inflammation promotes IR. Nevertheless, clinical trials with anti-inflammatory therapies have yielded modest impacts on established T2D. Unlike mouse models, where obesity is predominantly associated with IR, 20-25% of obese humans are metabolically healthy with high insulin sensitivity. The uncoupling of obesity from IR in humans but not in animal models advocates for a more comprehensive understanding of mediators and mechanisms of human obesity-promoted IR, and better integration of knowledge from human studies into animal experiments to efficiently pursue T2D prevention and treatment.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)91-100
Number of pages10
JournalTrends in Endocrinology and Metabolism
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 1 2015

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2014 Elsevier Ltd.


  • Insulin resistance
  • Lymphocyte subsets
  • Obesity
  • Type 2 diabetes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism
  • Endocrinology


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