Phosphodiesterase (PDE) 3B is a key enzyme in the mediation of the antilipolytic action of insulin in adipocytes, and activation of this molecule results in a reduced output of free fatty acids (FFAs). An elevation of serum FFAs is known to cause insulin resistance in skeletal muscle and liver, which could be the primary cause of type 2 diabetes. To elucidate whether PDE3B is involved in this disease, we examined the PDE3B gene expression in epididymal fat tissues of obese insulin-resistant diabetic KKAy mice. We also examined the effect of an insulin-sensitizing drug, pioglitazone, on this gene expression. In adipose tissue of KKAy mice, PDE3B mRNA and its corresponding protein were reduced to 48 and 43% of those in C57BL/6J control mice. Basal and insulin-stimulated membrane-bound PDE activities were also decreased to 50 and 36% of those in the controls, respectively. Pioglitazone increased both PDE3B mRNA and protein levels by 1.8-fold of those in untreated KKAy mice. Basal and insulin-induced membrane-bound PDE activities were also increased by 1.6- and 2.0-fold, respectively. Pioglitazone reduced the elevated levels of serum insulin, glucose, FFAs, and triglyceride in KKAy mice. Thus, the reduced PDE3B gene expression in adipose tissues could be the primary event in the development of insulin resistance in KKAy mice, which was improved by pioglitazone possibly because of the restoration of the reduced PDE3B gene expression.

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