The ovary is the main regulator of female fertility. Granulosa cell dysfunction may be involved in various reproductive endocrine disorders. Here we investigated the effect of insulin resistance on the metabolism and function of ovarian granulosa cells, and dissected the functional status of the mitogen-activated protein kinase signaling pathway in these cells. Our data showed that dexamethasone-induced insulin resistance in mouse granulosa cells reduced insulin sensitivity, accompanied with an increase in phosphorylation of p44/42 mitogen-activated protein kinase. Furthermore, up-regulation of cytochrome P450 subfamily 17 and testosterone and down-regulation of progesterone were observed in insulin-resistant mouse granulosa cells. Inhibition of p44/42 mitogen-activated protein kinase after induction of insulin resistance in mouse granulosa cells decreased phosphorylation of p44/42 mitogen-activated protein kinase, downregulated cytochrome P450 subfamily 17 and lowered progesterone production. This insulin resistance cell model can successfully demonstrate certain mechanisms such as hyperandrogenism, which may inspire a new strategy for treating reproductive endocrine disorders by regulating cell signaling pathways.