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Effect of force development on contraction induced glucose transport in fast twitch rat muscle

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A previous study has shown that in fast twitch frog sartorius muscle contraction stimulated glucose transport depends only on stimulation frequency and not on workload. In contrast, we have recently shown that in rat slow twitch muscle stimulated to contract at constant frequency, glucose transport varies directly with force development and, in turn, metabolism. The present study was carried out to clarify whether the discrepancy between the earlier studies reflected differences in physiological behaviour between fast and slow twitch muscle. We investigated the effect of force development on glucose transport in incubated fast twitch rat flexor digitorum brevis (rich in type 2a fibres) and epitrochlearis (rich in type 2b fibres) muscle. Muscles were electrically stimulated to perform repeated tetanic contractions at 1 Hz for 10 min. Resting length was adjusted to achieve either no force or maximum force. Glucose transport (2-deoxyglucose uptake) increased when force was produced compared with when it was not (P < 0.05) in both flexor digitorum brevis (19 ± 7 (basal), 163 ± 14 (no force) and 242 ± 17 (max force) nmol × g–1 × 5 min–1) and epitrochlearis (60 ± 4 (basal), 100 ± 7 (no force) and 125 ± 6 (max force) nmol × g–1 × 5 min–1). In both muscles glucose transport increased in parallel with metabolic rate, as reflected by muscle lactate concentrations and 5′ AMP-activated protein kinase activity, during contractions. In conclusion, as previously shown for rat soleus muscle, at a given stimulation frequency glucose transport varies directly with force development in rat flexor digitorum brevis and epitrochlearis muscle. Accordingly, force development enhances glucose transport in all mammalian muscle fibre types. The influence of force development probably reflects effects of enhanced 5′ AMP-activated protein kinase activity resulting from reduced intra-cellular energy status and pH.

Keywords: 2-deoxyglucose; AMPK; GLUT 4; exercise; fast twitch fibre; force development; glucose transport; signal transduction

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: Copenhagen Muscle Research Centre, Rigshospitalet and Department of Medical Physiology, The Panum Institute, University of Copenhagen, Denmark

Publication date: 2001-04-01

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