Accumulation of saturated intramyocellular lipid is associated with insulin resistance.

Savage, David B; Watson, Laura; Carr, Katie; Adams, Claire; Brage, Soren; Chatterjee, Krishna K; Hodson, Leanne; Boesch, Chris; Kemp, Graham J; Sleigh, Alison (2019). Accumulation of saturated intramyocellular lipid is associated with insulin resistance. Journal of lipid research, 60(7), pp. 1323-1332. American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology ASBMB 10.1194/jlr.M091942

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Intramyocellular lipid (IMCL) accumulation has been linked to both insulin-resistant and to insulin-sensitive (athletes) states. Biochemical analysis of intramuscular triglyceride composition is confounded by extramyocellular triglyceride in biopsy samples, and hence the composition of specifically IMCL is unknown in these states. H magnetic resonance spectroscopy can overcome this, and we used a recently validated method to compare the compositional saturation index (CH:CH ratio) and concentration independent of composition (CH) of IMCL in the soleus and tibialis anterior muscles of 16 female insulin-resistant lipodystrophic subjects with that of age- and gender-matched athletes (n=14) and healthy controls (n=41). The IMCL CH:CH ratio was significantly higher in both muscles of the lipodystrophic subjects compared with controls, but was similar in athletes and controls. IMCL CH:CH was dependent on IMCL concentration in the controls, and after adjusting the composition index for quantity (CH:CH) was able to distinguish lipodystrophics from athletes. This CH:CH marker had a stronger relationship with insulin resistance than IMCL concentration alone, and was inversely related to VO The association of insulin resistance with accumulation of saturated IMCL is consistent with (a) a potential pathogenic role for saturated fat, and (b) the reported benefits of exercise and diet in insulin resistant states.

Item Type:

Journal Article (Original Article)


04 Faculty of Medicine > Department of Radiology, Neuroradiology and Nuclear Medicine (DRNN) > Institute of Diagnostic, Interventional and Paediatric Radiology > DCR Magnetic Resonance Spectroscopy and Methodology (AMSM)

UniBE Contributor:

Boesch, Christoph Hans


600 Technology > 610 Medicine & health




American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology ASBMB




Christoph Hans Boesch

Date Deposited:

08 Aug 2019 06:58

Last Modified:

22 Oct 2019 18:04

Publisher DOI:


PubMed ID:


Uncontrolled Keywords:

Insulin resistance Intramyocellular lipid composition Lipodystrophies Muscle NMR Triglycerides in vivo magnetic resonance spectroscopy




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