Autotaxin (ATX) is an adipocyte-derived lysophospholipase D that generates the lipid signaling molecule lysophosphatidic acid (LPA). The ATX/LPA pathway in adipose tissue has recently been implicated in obesity and insulin resistance in animal models, but the role of circulating ATX in humans remains unclear. The aim of the present study was to determine the relationship between serum ATX and insulin resistance.
Older (60-75 years), nondiabetic human participants with overweight or obesity (BMI 25-37 kg m(-2) ) were characterized for metabolic phenotype including measures of energy, glucose, and lipid homeostasis. The relationship between serum ATX and metabolic parameters was then determined using correlative and predictive statistics.
Serum ATX was higher in females than in males. After controlling for sex, serum ATX correlated with multiple measures of adiposity and glucose homeostasis/insulin action. Serum ATX and BMI also independently predicted glucose infusion rate during a hyperinsulinemic euglycemic clamp and homeostatic model assessment of insulin resistance after controlling for sex and medication use.
Serum ATX correlates with and predicts measures of glucose homeostasis and insulin sensitivity in older humans, suggesting that it may be a potential pathogenic factor and/or diagnostic/therapeutic target for insulin resistance in this population.