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Lipid Composition of Cell Membranes and Its Relevance in Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus

[ Vol. 8 , Issue. 5 ]


Rob N.M. Weijers   Pages 390 - 400 ( 11 )


Identifying the causative relationship between the fatty acid composition of cell membranes and type 2 diabetes mellitus fundamentally contributes to the understanding of the basic pathophysiological mechanisms of the disease. Important outcomes of the reviewed studies appear to support the hypotheses that the flexibility of a membrane determined by the ratio of (poly)unsaturated to saturated fatty acyl chains of its phospholipids influences the effectiveness of glucose transport by insulin-independent glucose transporters (GLUTs) and the insulin-dependent GLUT4, and from the prediabetic stage on a shift from unsaturated towards saturated fatty acyl chains of membrane phospholipids directly induces a decrease in glucose effectiveness and insulin sensitivity. In addition, it has become evident that a concomitant increase in stiffness of both plasma and erythrocyte membranes may decrease the microcirculatory flow, leading ultimately to tissue hypoxia, insufficient tissue nutrition, and diabetes-specific microvascular pathology. As to the etiology of type 2 diabetes mellitus, a revised hypothesis that attempts to accommodate the reviewed findings is presented.


Cell Membranes, Erythrocyte Deformability, Glucose Effectiveness, Glucose Transporter, Insulin Sensitivity, Phospholipids, Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus, Unsaturated Fatty Acid, insulin-dependent GLUT4, fatty acid


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