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Quantification of adipose tissue insulin sensitivity
  1. Esben Søndergaard1,2,3,
  2. Michael D Jensen1
  1. 1Endocrine Research Unit, Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minnesota, USA
  2. 2Department of Endocrinology and Internal Medicine, Aarhus University Hospital, Aarhus, Denmark
  3. 3The Danish Diabetes Academy
  1. Correspondence to Professor Michael D Jensen, Endocrine Research Unit, Mayo Clinic, 200 1st St SW, Rm 5-194 Joseph, Rochester, MN 55905, USA; jensen{at}


In metabolically healthy humans, adipose tissue is exquisitely sensitive to insulin. Similar to muscle and liver, adipose tissue lipolysis is insulin resistant in adults with central obesity and type 2 diabetes. Perhaps uniquely, however, insulin resistance in adipose tissue may directly contribute to development of insulin resistance in muscle and liver because of the increased delivery of free fatty acids to those tissues. It has been hypothesized that insulin adipose tissue resistance may precede other metabolic defects in obesity and type 2 diabetes. Therefore, precise and reproducible quantification of adipose tissue insulin sensitivity, in vivo, in humans, is an important measure. Unfortunately, no consensus exists on how to determine adipose tissue insulin sensitivity. We review the methods available to quantitate adipose tissue insulin sensitivity and will discuss their strengths and weaknesses.

  • Adipose Tissue
  • Lipid Metabolism

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