Sebastian Beck Jørgensen, Hayley M O'Neill, Lykke Sylow, Jane Honeyman, Kimberly A Hewitt, Rengasamy Palanivel, Morgan D Fullerton, Lisa Öberg, Anudharan Balendran, Sandra Galic, Chris van der Poel, Ian A Trounce, Gordon S Lynch, Jonathan D Schertzer, Gregory R Steinberg
Obesity is associated with chronic low-grade inflammation that contributes to defects in energy metabolism and insulin resistance. Suppressor of cytokine signaling (SOCS)-3 expression is increased in skeletal muscle of obese humans. SOCS3 inhibits leptin signaling in the hypothalamus and insulin signal transduction in adipose tissue and the liver. Skeletal muscle is an important tissue for controlling energy expenditure and whole-body insulin sensitivity; however, the physiological importance of SOCS3 in this tissue has not been examined. Therefore, we generated mice that had SOCS3 specifically deleted in skeletal muscle (SOCS MKO). The SOCS3 MKO mice had normal muscle development, body mass, adiposity, appetite, and energy expenditure compared with wild-type (WT) littermates. Despite similar degrees of obesity when fed a high-fat diet, SOCS3 MKO mice were protected against the development of hyperinsulinemia and insulin resistance because of enhanced skeletal muscle insulin receptor substrate 1 (IRS1) and Akt phosphorylation that resulted in increased skeletal muscle glucose uptake. These data indicate that skeletal muscle SOCS3 does not play a critical role in regulating muscle development or energy expenditure, but it is an important contributing factor for inhibiting insulin sensitivity in obesity. Therapies aimed at inhibiting SOCS3 in skeletal muscle may be effective in reversing obesity-related glucose intolerance and insulin resistance.