Effects of Exercise Training and Dietary Manipulation on Insulin-Regulatable Glucose-Transporter mRNA in Rat Muscle

  1. Edward W Kraegen
  1. Garvan Institute of Medical Research, St. Vincent's Hospital Darlinghurst, New South Wales, Australia; and Department of Cell Biology and Physiology, Washington University School of Medicine St. Louis, Missouri
  1. Address correspondence and reprint requests to Dr. E.W. Kraegen, Garvan Institute, St. Vincent's Hospital, Darlinghurst, NSW 2010, Australia.


Both exercise training and dietary manipulation (increasing ω-3/ω-6 fat ratio) can ameliorate insulin resistance caused by a high-fat diet in rats. We determined whether alterations in the expression of the insulin-regulatable (IR) and/or HepG2 glucose-transporter (GT) mRNAs were similarly affected. There was a significantly higher level of IRGT mRNA in skeletal muscle from exercise-trained versus sedentary high-fat–fed rats (27% increase, P < 0.01). This difference is consistent with previously reported increases in muscle insulin-mediated glucose uptake. Skeletal muscle HepG2GT mRNA was too low to detect any training effect, but there was a tendency toward higher levels with training in cardiac muscle. In contrast, dietary manipulation, previously shown to lead to a much greater increase (100–300%) in muscle insulin-mediated glucose uptake, did not change IRGT or HepG2GT mRNA in skeletal muscle or heart. Thus, both dietary manipulation and exercise training increase insulin-stimulated glucose uptake in skeletal muscle, but only exercise training increases IRGT mRNA. Therefore, exercise training apparently increases GT production, whereas dietary manipulation improves glucose transport in skeletal muscle by other mechanisms.

  • Received February 2, 1990.
  • Revision received October 9, 1990.
  • Accepted October 9, 1990.
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