Increased intrahepatic triglyceride is associated with peripheral insulin resistance: In vivo MR imaging and spectroscopy studies

Jong Hee Hwang, Daniel T. Stein, Nir Barzilai, Min Hui Cui, Julia Tonelli, Preeti Kishore, Meredith Hawkins

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134 Scopus citations


Recent studies have indicated that the mass/content of intramyocellular lipid (IMCL), intrahepatic triglyceride (IHTG), visceral fat (VF), and even deep abdominal subcutaneous fat (SF) may all be correlated with insulin resistance. Since simultaneous measurements of these parameters have not been reported, the relative strength of their associations with insulin action is not known. Therefore, the goals of this study were 1) to simultaneously measure IMCL, IHTG, VF, and abdominal SF in the same nondiabetic individuals using noninvasive 1H-magnetic resonance spectroscopy (MRS) and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and 2) to examine how these fat stores are correlated with systemic insulin sensitivity as measured by whole body glucose disposal (R d) during euglycemic-hyperinsulinemic clamp studies. Positive correlations were observed among IMCL, IHTG, and VF. There were significant inverse correlations between whole body Rd and both IMCL and VF. Notably, there was a particularly tight inverse correlation between IHTG and whole body Rd (r = -0.86, P < 0.001), consistent with an association between liver fat and peripheral insulin sensitivity. This novel finding suggests that hepatic triglyceride accumulation has important systemic consequences that may adversely affect insulin sensitivity in other tissues.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)E1663-E1669
JournalAmerican Journal of Physiology - Endocrinology and Metabolism
Issue number6
StatePublished - Dec 1 2007



  • Adipokines
  • In vivo magnetic resonance imaging and spectroscopy
  • Leptin
  • Muscle and visceral fat

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism
  • Physiology
  • Physiology (medical)

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