Table of Contents Author Guidelines Submit a Manuscript
Journal of Diabetes Research
Volume 2017, Article ID 1789395, 10 pages
Review Article

Muscle Lipid Metabolism: Role of Lipid Droplets and Perilipins

1Departamento de Tecnología Médica, Facultad de Medicina, Universidad de Chile, Santiago, Chile
2CIDIS-AC, Escuela de Medicina, Universidad de Valparaiso, Valparaiso, Chile
3Center for Molecular Studies of the Cell, Facultad de Medicina, Universidad de Chile, Santiago, Chile

Correspondence should be addressed to Alejandra Espinosa; lc.elihcu.dem@asonipseb

Received 6 January 2017; Revised 19 April 2017; Accepted 26 April 2017; Published 6 June 2017

Academic Editor: Erick O. Hernández-Ochoa

Copyright © 2017 Pablo Esteban Morales et al. 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.


Skeletal muscle is one of the main regulators of carbohydrate and lipid metabolism in our organism, and therefore, it is highly susceptible to changes in glucose and fatty acid (FA) availability. Skeletal muscle is an extremely complex tissue: its metabolic capacity depends on the type of fibers it is made up of and the level of stimulation it undergoes, such as acute or chronic contraction. Obesity is often associated with increased FA levels, which leads to the accumulation of toxic lipid intermediates, oxidative stress, and autophagy in skeletal fibers. This lipotoxicity is one of the most common causes of insulin resistance (IR). In this scenario, the “isolation” of certain lipids in specific cell compartments, through the action of the specific lipid droplet, perilipin (PLIN) family of proteins, is conceived as a lifeguard compensatory strategy. In this review, we summarize the cellular mechanism underlying lipid mobilization and metabolism inside skeletal muscle, focusing on the function of lipid droplets, the PLIN family of proteins, and how these entities are modified in exercise, obesity, and IR conditions.