The Otsuka Long-Evans Tokushima fatty (OLETF) rat is a new spontaneous non-insulin-dependent diabetes mellitus (NIDDM) model rat strain developed in Tokushima, Japan. After 18 weeks of age, decreases of 45% and 40% respectively in insulin- and phorbol ester-stimulated [3H]2-deoxyglucose (DOG) uptake were observed, compared with those in Long-Evans Tokushima (LETO) rats (control). Insulin-specific binding and 95 kDa autophosphorylation of insulin receptor in OLETF rats were not different from those in LETO rats. Insulin-induced diacylglycerol (DG) production and Mono Q column-purified protein kinase C (PKC) translocation in adipocytes of OLETF rats were decreased compared with those of LETO rats. Insulin-induced PKC beta translocation from cytosol to membrane was also decreased in adipocytes of OLETF rats. Increases of the PKC beta I, beta II, epsilon and zeta isoforms in membranes of OLETF rats were markedly smaller than those of LETO rats. Analysis of mRNA levels of PKC isoforms in adipocytes of OLETF rats showed decreases of basal level and insulin-induced delayed responses of PKC beta I, beta II, epsilon and zeta mRNA in OLETF rats. On the other hand, insulin- or phorbol ester-induced phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase (PI 3-kinase) activation was decreased in adipocytes of OLETF rats compared with those of LETO rats. These results suggest that insulin resistance in OLETF rats, a spontaneous NIDDM model rat, may be associated with deterioration of insulin-induced DG-PKC signaling and subsequent decrease in PI 3-kinase activation.
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