Paediatrics Publications

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Scientific Reports



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Glucocorticoids are used to treat a number of human diseases but often lead to insulin resistance and metabolic syndrome. 11β-hydroxysteroid dehydrogenase type 1 (11β-HSD1) is a key enzyme that catalyzes the intracellular conversion of cortisone to physiologically active cortisol. Despite the known role of 11β-HSD1 and active glucocorticoid in causing insulin resistance, the molecular mechanisms by which insulin resistance is induced remain elusive. The aim of this study is to identify these mechanisms in high fat diet (HFD) experimental models. Mice on a HFD were treated with 11β-HSD1 inhibitor as well as a JNK inhibitor. We then treated 3T3-L1-derived adipocytes with prednisone, a synthetic glucocorticoid, and cells with 11β-HSD1 overexpression to study insulin resistance. Our results show that 11β-HSD1 and JNK inhibition mitigated insulin resistance in HFD mice. Prednisone stimulation or overexpression of 11β-HSD1 also caused JNK activation in cultured adipocytes. Inhibition of 11β-HSD1 blocked the activation of JNK in adipose tissue of HFD mice as well as in cultured adipocytes. Furthermore, prednisone significantly impaired the insulin signaling pathway, and these effects were reversed by 11β-HSD1 and JNK inhibition. Our study demonstrates that glucocorticoid-induced insulin resistance was dependent on 11β-HSD1, resulting in the critical activation of JNK signaling in adipocytes.