An estimated 70% of individuals with type 2 diabetes also suffer from nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) . Insulin resistance is pathologically fundamental to both NAFLD and T2D, however the mechanisms of insulin resistance linking these complex diseases remains incompletely understood. Microphysiological systems provide an avenue to simulate disease parameters in the context of human biology, however current in vitro models of hepatic insulin resistance often include nutrient and insulin concentrations orders of magnitude above in vivo levels. Here, we established an in vitro 3D model culturing primary human hepatocytes and non-parenchymal cells in physiologically relevant media conditions simulating both baseline physiological and T2D conditions. Albumin secretion and cytochrome p450 assays indicate hepatocytes remain functional over two weeks in culture for both physiological and T2D conditions. Results further show hepatocytes cultured in physiological conditions maintain insulin responsiveness after 12 days in culture, measured by glucose output following dose response of insulin stimulation. Conversely, cells cultured in T2D media conditions have significantly attenuated response to insulin stimulation compared to the physiological condition. Measuring insulin clearance from the media also showed reduced clearance over time for the T2D conditions. Together, these results demonstrate the induction of hepatic insulin resistance through culture with insulin concentrations found in the portal vein of T2D patients. Studies further applying this in vitro model to understand insulin resistance mechanisms are ongoing.
E.Tevonian: Research Support; Novo Nordisk. J.F.Jeppesen: Employee; Novo Nordisk A/S. D.Lauffenburger: None. L.G.Griffith: Research Support; Novo Nordisk A/S, Novo Nordisk A/S, Novo Nordisk A/S, Novo Nordisk A/S, Novo Nordisk A/S, Novo Nordisk A/S, Novo Nordisk A/S.