Muscle fiber type-specific defects in insulin signal transduction to glucose transport in diabetic GK rats.
To determine whether defects in the insulin signal transduction pathway to glucose transport occur in a muscle fiber type-specific manner, post-receptor insulin-signaling events were assessed in oxidative (soleus) and glycolytic (extensor digitorum longus [EDL]) skeletal muscle from Wistar or diabetic GK rats. In soleus muscle from GK rats, maximal insulin-stimulated (120 nmol/l) glucose transport was significantly decreased, compared with that of Wistar rats. In EDL muscle from GK rats, maximal insulin-stimulated glucose transport was normal, while the submaximal response was reduced compared with that of Wistar rats. We next treated diabetic GK rats with phlorizin for 4 weeks to determine whether restoration of glycemia would lead to improved insulin signal transduction. Phlorizin treatment of GK rats resulted in full restoration of insulin-stimulated glucose transport in soleus and EDL muscle. In soleus muscle from GK rats, submaximal and maximal insulin-stimulated insulin receptor substrate (IRS)-1 tyrosine phosphorylation and IRS-1-associated phosphatidylinositol (PI) 3-kinase activity were markedly reduced, compared with that of Wistar rats, but only submaximal insulin-stimulated PI 3-kinase was restored after phlorizin treatment. In EDL muscle, insulin-stimulated IRS-1 tyrosine phosphorylation and IRS-1-associated PI-3 kinase were not altered between GK and Wistar rats. Maximal insulin-stimulated Akt (protein kinase B) kinase activity is decreased in soleus muscle from GK rats and restored upon normalization of glycemia (Krook et al., Diabetes 46:2100-2114, 1997). Here, we show that in EDL muscle from GK rats, maximal insulin-stimulated Akt kinase activity is also impaired and restored to Wistar rat levels after phlorizin treatment. In conclusion, functional defects in IRS-1 and PI 3-kinase in skeletal muscle from diabetic GK rats are fiber-type-specific, with alterations observed in oxidative, but not glycolytic, muscle. Furthermore, regardless of muscle fiber type, downstream steps to PI 3-kinase (i.e., Akt and glucose transport) are sensitive to changes in the level of glycemia.