Aging in mammals associates with the development of peripheral insulin resistance. Additionally, adiposity usually increases with aging and this could play a relevant role in the gradual impairment of insulin action. In fact, fat accretion leads to changes in the expression and circulating concentrations of factors originated in adipose tissue like leptin, resistin and inflammatory cytokines which have been shown to modulate insulin signaling in insulin target tissues acting both, directly or through the central nervous system. Even insulin action on peripheral target tissues has been recently demonstrated to be partially mediated by its central action, suggesting that a decrease in central insulin action could be involved in the development of peripheral insulin resistance. In the present review we analyze the available research data on aging-associated insulin resistance making emphasis in the following aspects: 1) The time-course of development of overall insulin resistance and the evolution of changes in circulating adipokines; 2) The effect of caloric restriction and the decrease of adiposity in insulin action; 3) The influence of changes in the central action of factors like leptin or insulin in the development and maintenance of insulin resistance during aging.
Keywords: Insulin resistance, leptin, aging, adiposity
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