To examine the role of the insulin receptor in fuel homeostasis, we and others have carried out genetic ablation studies in mice. Mice lacking insulin receptors are born with normal features, but develop early postnatal diabetes and die of ketoacidosis. In contrast, mice lacking insulin receptors in specific cell types as a result of conditional mutagenesis develop mild metabolic and reproductive abnormalities. These experiments have uncovered novel functions of insulin receptors in tissues such as brain and pancreatic β-cells. Combined knockout studies of insulin and Igf1 receptors indicate that the insulin receptor also promotes embryonic growth. Experimental crosses of mice with insulin receptor haploinsufficiency have been instrumental to the genetic analysis of insulin action by enabling us to assign specific roles to different insulin receptor substrates and identify novel elements in insulin signaling.


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  • Article Type: Review Article
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