Table of Contents
ISRN Endocrinology
Volume 2013 (2013), Article ID 329606, 14 pages
Review Article

Insulin Resistance and Muscle Metabolism in Chronic Kidney Disease

Renal Division, Emory University School of Medicine, Woodruff Memorial Research Building, Room 338, 1639 Pierce Drive, Atlanta, GA 30322, USA

Received 23 December 2012; Accepted 21 January 2013

Academic Editors: Y. Combarnous and J. E. Gunton

Copyright © 2013 James L. Bailey. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Insulin resistance is a common finding in chronic kidney disease (CKD) and is manifested by mild fasting hyperglycemia and abnormal glucose tolerance testing. Circulating levels of glucocorticoids are high. In muscle, changes in the insulin signaling pathway occur. An increase in the regulatory p85 subunit of Class I phosphatidylinositol 3-Kinase enzyme leads to decreased activation of the downstream effector protein kinase B (Akt). Mechanisms promoting muscle proteolysis and atrophy are unleashed. The link of Akt to the ubiquitin proteasome pathway, a major degradation pathway in muscle, is discussed. Another factor associated with insulin resistance in CKD is angiotensin II (Ang II) which appears to induce its intracellular effects through inflammatory cytokines or reactive oxygen species. Skeletal muscle ATP is depleted and the ability of AMP-activated protein kinase (AMPK) to replenish energy stores is blocked. How this can be reversed is discussed. Interleukin-6 (IL-6) levels are elevated in CKD and impair insulin signaling at the level of IRS-1. With exercise, IL-6 levels are reduced; glucose uptake and utilization are increased. For patients with CKD, exercise may improve insulin signaling and build up muscle. Treatment strategies for preventing muscle atrophy are discussed.