In an attempt to determine the mechanism of insulin resistance in the presence of obesity, we examined effects of insulin on insulin-sensitive phosphodiesterase (PDE) in spontaneously diabetic KK mice. Isolated fat cells prepared from epididymal adipose tissue were incubated, with or without insulin, for 10 min. In the caseof subcellular fractionation, only membrane-bound PDE was activated by insulin, as was noted in the case of rat fat cells. The specific activity was decreased in KK mice compared with control C57BL/6 mice. The doseresponse curve, expressed as a percent of the maximal insulin effect, shifted to the right and the increase of ED50 indicated a decreased insulin sensitivity in the KK mice. The maximal insulin effect did not change, either when expressed as a percent of the basal enzyme activity or when expressed on a per cell basis. Specific binding of [125I]-insulin in fat cells increased in KK mice and curvilinear Scatchard plots showed an increase of the high-affinity sites. These data indicate that impairment of PDE activation in fat cells of KK mice relates to postreceptor defects and the uncoupling may result in a decreased sensitivity.

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