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Am J Physiol. 1999 May;276(5 Pt 1):E922-9.

Hyperlactatemia reduces muscle glucose uptake and GLUT-4 mRNA while increasing (E1alpha)PDH gene expression in rat.

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  • 1Endocrine Metabolic Laboratory, Department of Medical and Surgical Sciences, University of Padova, 35100 Padova, Italy.


An increased basal plasma lactate concentration is present in many physiological and pathological conditions, including obesity and diabetes. We previously demonstrated that acute lactate infusion in rats produced a decrease in overall glucose uptake. The present study was carried out to further investigate the effect of lactate on glucose transport and utilization in skeletal muscle. In chronically catheterized rats, a 24-h sodium lactate or bicarbonate infusion was performed. To study glucose uptake in muscle, a bolus of 2-deoxy-[3H]glucose was injected in basal condition and during euglycemic-hyperinsulinemic clamp. Our results show that hyperlactatemia decreased glucose uptake in muscles (i.e., red quadriceps; P < 0.05). Moreover in red muscles, both GLUT-4 mRNA (-30% in red quadriceps and -60% in soleus; P < 0.025) and protein (-40% in red quadriceps; P < 0.05) were decreased, whereas the (E1alpha)pyruvate dehydrogenase (PDH) mRNA was increased (+40% in red quadriceps; P < 0.001) in lactate-infused animals. PDH protein was also increased (4-fold in red gastrocnemius and 2-fold in red quadriceps). These results indicate that chronic hyperlactatemia reduces glucose uptake by affecting the expression of genes involved in glucose metabolism in muscle, suggesting a role for lactate in the development of insulin resistance.

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