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Inyeong Kim  (Kim I) 1 Article
Basic Research
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Vimentin Deficiency Prevents High-Fat Diet-Induced Obesity and Insulin Resistance in Mice
SeoYeon Kim, Inyeong Kim, Wonkyoung Cho, Goo Taeg Oh, Young Mi Park
Diabetes Metab J. 2021;45(1):97-108.   Published online June 15, 2020
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  • 19 Crossref
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Obesity and type 2 diabetes mellitus are world-wide health problems, and lack of understanding of their linking mechanism is one reason for limited treatment options. We determined if genetic deletion of vimentin, a type 3 intermediate filament, affects obesity and type 2 diabetes mellitus.


We fed vimentin-null (Vim−/−) mice and wild-type mice a high-fat diet (HFD) for 10 weeks and measured weight change, adiposity, blood lipids, and glucose. We performed intraperitoneal glucose tolerance tests and measured CD36, a major fatty acid translocase, and glucose transporter type 4 (GLUT4) in adipocytes from both groups of mice.


Vim−/− mice fed an HFD showed less weight gain, less adiposity, improved glucose tolerance, and lower serum level of fasting glucose. However, serum triglyceride and non-esterified fatty acid levels were higher in Vim−/− mice than in wild-type mice. Vimentin-null adipocytes showed 41.1% less CD36 on plasma membranes, 27% less uptake of fatty acids, and 50.3% less GLUT4, suggesting defects in intracellular trafficking of these molecules.


We concluded that vimentin deficiency prevents obesity and insulin resistance in mice fed an HFD and suggest vimentin as a central mediator linking obesity and type 2 diabetes mellitus.


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