Insulin drives the global anabolic response to nutrient ingestion, regulating both carbohydrate and lipid metabolism. Previous studies have demonstrated that Akt2/protein kinase B is critical to insulin's control of glucose metabolism, but its role in lipid metabolism has remained controversial. Here, we show that Akt2 is required for hepatic lipid accumulation in obese, insulin-resistant states induced by either leptin deficiency or high-fat diet feeding. Lep(ob/ob) mice lacking hepatic Akt2 failed to amass triglycerides in their livers, associated with and most likely due to a decrease in lipogenic gene expression and de novo lipogenesis. However, Akt2 is also required for steatotic pathways unrelated to fatty acid synthesis, as mice fed high-fat diet had reduced liver triglycerides in the absence of hepatic Akt2 but did not exhibit changes in lipogenesis. These data demonstrate that Akt2 is a requisite component of the insulin-dependent regulation of lipid metabolism during insulin resistance.
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