The Journal of clinical endocrinology and metabolism

Insulin resistance and increased muscle cytokine levels in patients with mitochondrial myopathy.

PMID 25057876


Mitochondrial dysfunction has been proposed to cause insulin resistance and that might stimulate cytokine production. The objective of the study was to elucidate the association between mitochondrial myopathy, insulin sensitivity, and cytokine levels in muscle. This was an experimental, controlled study in outpatients. Eight overnight-fasted patients (P) with various inherited mitochondrial myopathies and eight healthy subjects (C) matched for sex, age, weight, height, and physical activity participated in the study. The intervention included a 120-minute hyperinsulinemic, euglycemic clamp. Another morning, microdialysis of both vastus lateralis muscles for 4 hours, including one-legged, knee extension exercise for 30 minutes, was performed. Glucose infusion rate during 90-120 minutes of insulin infusion was measured. Cytokine concentrations in dialysate were also measured. Muscle strength, percentage fat mass, and creatine kinase in plasma did not differ between groups. The maximal oxygen uptake was 21 ± 3 (SE) (P) and 36 ± 3(C) mL/kg·min (2P < .05). Basal insulin, C-peptide, and glucagon were higher in P (55 ± 10, 980 ± 92, and 102 ± 13 pM) than in C (36 ± 12, 712 ± 98, and 44 ± 10 pM) (two-sided significance testing [2P ]< .05). The homeostasis model assessment insulin sensitivity index and glucose infusion rate (6.8 ± 1.0 vs 9.4 ± 1.3 mg/min·kg) were lower, and free fatty acids and glycerol at 120 minutes were higher in P vs C (2P < .05). Dialysate concentrations of TNF-α, IL-6, IL-8, IL-10, and monocyte chemoattractant protein-1 were higher in P vs C (2P < .05). Dialysate concentrations of these cytokines and of IL-1 receptor antagonist increased during exercise (2P < .05), identically in P and C. No differences existed in plasma cytokine concentrations. In patients with a variety of mitochondrial myopathies, insulin sensitivity of muscle, adipose tissue, and pancreatic A cells is reduced, supporting that mitochondrial function influences insulin action. Furthermore, a local, low-grade inflammation of potential clinical importance exists in the muscle of these patients.