Tissue-specific insulin signaling in the regulation of metabolism and aging

Jingjing Zhang, Feng Liu

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

41 Scopus citations


In mammals, insulin signaling regulates glucose homeostasis and plays an essential role in metabolism, organ growth, development, fertility, and lifespan. The defects in this signaling pathway contribute to various metabolic diseases such as type 2 diabetes, polycystic ovarian disease, hypertension, hyperlipidemia, and atherosclerosis. However, reducing the insulin signaling pathway has been found to increase longevity and delay the aging-associated diseases in various animals, ranging from nematodes to mice. These seemly paradoxical findings raise an interesting question as to how modulation of the insulin signaling pathway could be an effective approach to improve metabolism and aging. In this review, we summarize current understanding on tissue-specific functions of insulin signaling in the regulation of metabolism and lifespan. We also discuss the potential benefits and limitations in modulating tissue-specific insulin signaling pathway to improve metabolism and healthspan.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)485-495
Number of pages11
JournalIUBMB Life
Issue number7
StatePublished - Jul 2014


  • aging
  • insulin signaling
  • metabolism
  • tissue-specific

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Biology
  • Genetics
  • Clinical Biochemistry
  • Cell Biology


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