Enhanced stimulation of glucose uptake by insulin increases exercise-stimulated glucose uptake in skeletal muscle in humans: studies using [15O]O2, [15O]H2O, [18F]fluoro-deoxy-glucose, and positron emission tomography.

  1. P Nuutila,
  2. P Peltoniemi,
  3. V Oikonen,
  4. K Larmola,
  5. J Kemppainen,
  6. T Takala,
  7. H Sipilä,
  8. A Oksanen,
  9. U Ruotsalainen,
  10. G B Bolli and
  11. H Yki-Järvinen
  1. Department of Medicine, University of Turku, Finland. pirjo.nuutila@utu.fi

    Abstract

    In vitro studies have shown that insulin and exercise stimulate glucose uptake in part via distinct mechanisms. We determined whether a high rate of insulin-stimulated glucose uptake (good insulin sensitivity) is associated with an enhanced ability of exercise to increase glucose uptake in vivo in humans. In our study, 22 normal subjects performed one-legged isometric exercise for 105 min (45-150 min) under intravenously maintained euglycemic-hyperinsulinemic conditions (0-150 min). Rates of oxygen consumption, blood flow, and glucose uptake were quantitated simultaneously in skeletal muscle of both legs using [15O]O2, [15O]H2O, [18F]fluoro-deoxy-glucose, and positron emission tomography. The one-legged exercise, performed at an intensity of 11% of maximal isometric force, was designed to induce similar increases in oxygen consumption in both groups. In the entire group, exercise increased oxygen consumption from 2.3 +/- 0.3 ml x kg(-1) muscle x min(-1) (insulin) to 34.2 +/- 3. ml x kg(-1) muscle x min(-1) (insulin and exercise) (P < 0.001) and muscle glucose uptake from 60 +/- 6 pmol x kg(-1) muscle x min(-1) (insulin) to 220 +/- 22 micromol x kg(-1) muscle x min(-1) (insulin and exercise) (P < 0.001). The exercise-induced increase in glucose uptake was due to marked increases in blood flow (36 +/- 5 ml x kg(-1) muscle x min(-1) [insulin] vs. 262 +/- 20 ml x kg(-1) muscle x min(-1) [insulin and exercise], P < 0.001) rather than glucose extraction, which decreased from 2.0 +/- 0.2 mmol/l (insulin) to 1.0 +/- 0.1 mmol/1 (insulin and exercise) (P < 0.001). The subjects were classified according to their mean rate of whole-body insulin-stimulated glucose uptake into those with high (49 +/- 3 micromol x kg(-1) x min(-1)) and normal (27 +/- 2 micromol x kg(-1) x min(-1)) rates of insulin-stimulated glucose uptake. Both insulin-stimulated (2.4 +/- 1.1 vs. 2.3 +/- 1.2 ml x kg(-1) muscle x min(-1), normal vs. high insulin sensitivity) and exercise- and insulin-stimulated (33 +/- 6 vs. 34 +/- 4 ml x kg(-1) muscle x min(-1)) rates of oxygen consumption were comparable between the groups. Exercise increased glucose uptake more in the group with high insulin sensitivity (195 +/- 25 pmol x kg(-1) muscle x min(-1)) than in the group with normal insulin sensitivity (125 +/- 19 micromol x kg(-1) muscle x min(-1)) (P < 0.05). Muscle blood flow was closely correlated with the rate of oxygen consumption (r = 0.91, P < 0.0001), and insulin-stimulated (30 +/- 5 vs. 35 +/- 6 ml x kg(-1) muscle x min(-1)) and exercise-induced increments (222 +/- 31 vs. 228 +/- 23 ml x kg(-1) muscle x min(-1)) in muscle blood flow were similar between the groups. Glucose extraction remained higher in the group with high insulin sensitivity (1.2 +/- 0.2 mmol/l) than in the group with normal insulin sensitivity (0.7 +/- 0.1 mmol/l, P < 0.05). We conclude that whereas acute exercise per se increases glucose uptake via increasing glucose delivery, good insulin sensitivity modulates exercise-induced increases in glucose uptake by enhancing cellular glucose extraction.

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