Published online Mar 26, 2021. doi: 10.4252/wjsc.v13.i3.221
Peer-review started: November 18, 2020
First decision: January 25, 2021
Revised: February 7, 2021
Accepted: March 11, 2021
Article in press: March 11, 2021
Published online: March 26, 2021
Insulin resistance (IR) is associated with several metabolic disorders, including type 2 diabetes (T2D). The development of IR in insulin target tissues involves genetic and acquired factors. Persons at genetic risk for T2D tend to develop IR several years before glucose intolerance. Several rodent models for both IR and T2D are being used to study the disease pathogenesis; however, these models cannot recapitulate all the aspects of this complex disorder as seen in each individual. Human pluripotent stem cells (hPSCs) can overcome the hurdles faced with the classical mouse models for studying IR. Human induced pluripotent stem cells (hiPSCs) can be generated from the somatic cells of the patients without the need to destroy a human embryo. Therefore, patient-specific hiPSCs can generate cells genetically identical to IR individuals, which can help in distinguishing between genetic and acquired defects in insulin sensitivity. Combining the technologies of genome editing and hiPSCs may provide important information about the genetic factors underlying the development of different forms of IR. Further studies are required to fill the gaps in understanding the pathogenesis of IR and diabetes. In this review, we summarize the factors involved in the development of IR in the insulin-target tissues leading to diabetes. Also, we highlight the use of hPSCs to understand the mechanisms underlying the development of IR.
Core Tip: The genetic factors involved in the development of insulin resistance (IR), associated with type 2 diabetes remains largely unknown due to the polygenic nature of IR and lack of the appropriate human model. In this review, we summarize and discuss the use of human pluripotent stem cell technology in studying the genetic defects underlying IR development as well as highlight the potential use of patient-derived pluripotent stem cell for in vitro IR modeling.