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Infographic: Exosomes and Insulin Resistance

Circulating microRNAs may help explain how excess fat can lead to insulin resistance in distant cells.

By Catherine Offord | December 1, 2017

© LAURIE O'KEEFE

Obesity promotes insulin resistance via exosomal microRNAs, according to researchers at the University of California, San Diego. Macrophages associated with adipocytes in mouse fatty tissue package microRNAs into exosomes, which are released into circulation and are taken up by other cell types. When researchers treated lean mice with exosomes made by macrophages from obese mice, they found that despite remaining lean, recipient mice became insulin resistant. In contrast, treating obese mice with exosomes from lean mice improved the recipient animals’ insulin sensitivity, without reducing their weight.

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