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Muscle sympathetic nerve activity is associated with liver insulin sensitivity in obese non-diabetic men

Lookup NU author(s): Professor Mike TrenellORCiD



This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (CC BY 4.0).


© 2017 Chen, Brown, Liess, Poljak, Xu, Zhang, Trenell, Jenkins, Chisholm, Samocha-Bonet, Macefield and Greenfield. Introduction: Muscle sympathetic nerve activity (MSNA) may play a role in insulin resistance in obesity. However, the direction and nature of the relationship between MSNA and insulin resistance in obesity remain unclear. We hypothesized that resting MSNA would correlate inversely with both muscle and liver insulin sensitivity and that it would be higher in insulin-resistant vs. insulin-sensitive subjects. Materials and methods: Forty-five non-diabetic obese subjects were studied. As no significant relationships were found in women, the data presented in on 22 men aged 48 ± 12 years. Two-step (15 and 80 mU/m2/min) hyperinsulinaemic-euglycaemic clamps were performed using deuterated glucose to determine liver and muscle insulin sensitivity. Clinical and metabolic parameters were assessed. MSNA was measured via a microelectrode inserted percutaneously into the common peroneal nerve. Results: MSNA burst frequency correlated inversely with liver insulin sensitivity (r = -0.53, P = 0.02) and positively with the hepatokines C-reactive protein (CRP) and fibroblast growth factor (FGF)-19 (r = 0.57, P = 0.006, and r = -0.47, P = 0.03, respectively). MSNA burst frequency was lower in Liversen compared to Liverres (27 ± 5 vs. 38 ± 2 bursts per minute; P = 0.03). Muscle insulin sensitivity was unrelated to MSNA. Discussion: Sympathetic neural activation is related to liver insulin sensitivity and circulating hepatokines CRP and FGF-19 in non-diabetic obese men. These results suggest a potential hepato-endocrine-autonomic axis. Future studies are needed to clarify the influence of MSNA on liver insulin sensitivity in men.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Chen DLT, Brown R, Liess C, Poljak A, Xu A, Zhang J, Trenell M, Jenkins A, Chisholm D, Samocha-Bonet D, Macefield VG, Greenfield JR

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: Frontiers in Physiology

Year: 2017

Volume: 8

Online publication date: 28/02/2017

Acceptance date: 07/02/2017

Date deposited: 08/05/2017

ISSN (electronic): 1664-042X

Publisher: Frontiers Research Foundation


DOI: 10.3389/fphys.2017.00101


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