Background/Objectives Obesity-associated insulin resistance (IR) may develop in multiple organs, representing different aetiologies towards cardiometabolic diseases. This study aimed to identify distinct plasma lipid profiles in overweight/obese individuals who show muscle-IR and/or liver-IR.

Subjects/Methods Baseline data of the European multicenter DiOGenes project were used (n = 640; 401 women, nondiabetic BMI: 27-45 kg/m(2)). Muscle insulin sensitivity index (MIST) and hepatic insulin resistance index (HIRI) were derived from a 5-point oral glucose tolerance test. The 140 plasma lipids were quantified by liquid chromatography-mass spectrometry. Linear mixed models were used to evaluate associations between MISI, HIRI and plasma lipids.

Results MISI was comparable between sexes while HJRJ and triacylglycerol (TAG) levels were lower in women than in men. MISI was associated with higher lysophosphatidylcholine (LPC) levels (standardized (std)beta = 0.126; FDR-p = 0.032). Sex interactions were observed for associations between HIRI, TAG and diacylglycerol (DAG) lipid classes. In women, but not in men, HJRJ was associated with higher levels of TAG (44 out of 55 species) and both DAG species (std(3: 0.139-0.313; FDR-p <0.05), a lower odd-chain/even-chain TAG ratio (std beta = -0.182; FDR-p = 0.005) and a lower very-long-chain/long-chain TAG ratio (std beta = -0.156; FDR-p = 0.037).

Conclusions In overweight/obese individuals, muscle insulin sensitivity is associated with higher plasma LPC concentrations. Women have less hepatic IR and lower TAG than men. Nevertheless, hepatic IR is associated with higher plasma TAG and DAG concentrations and a lower abundance of odd-chain and very-long-chain TAG in women, but not in men. This suggests a more pronounced worsening of plasma lipid profile in women with the progression of hepatic IR.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)989-998
Number of pages10
JournalInternational Journal of Obesity
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - May 2019


  • DIET
  • MASS

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