Skeletal muscle insulin resistance is a main defect in type 2 diabetes (T2D), which is associated with impaired function and content of glucose transporter type 4 (GLUT4). GLUT4 overexpression in skeletal muscle tissue can improve glucose homeostasis. Therefore, we created an engineered muscle construct (EMC) composed of GLUT4-overexpressing (OEG4) cells. The ability of the engineered implants to reduce fasting glucose levels was tested in diet-induced obesity mice.
Decrease and stabilization of basal glucose levels were apparent up to 4 months after implantation. Analysis of the retrieved constructs showed elevated expression of myokines and proteins related to metabolic processes. In addition, we validated the efficiency of OEG4-EMCs in insulin-resistant mice. Following high glucose load administration, mice showed improved glucose tolerance.
Our data indicate that OEG4-EMC implant is an efficient mode for restoring insulin sensitivity and improving glucose homeostasis in diabetic mice. Such procedure is a potential innovative modality for T2D therapy.