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Lower calorie intake enhances muscle insulin action and reduces hexosamine levels.

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  • 1Biodynamics Laboratory, University of Wisconsin, Madison, Wisconsin 53706, USA.


Previous studies have demonstrated enhanced insulin sensitivity in calorie-restricted [CR, fed 60% ad libitum (AL) one time daily] compared with AL-fed rats. To evaluate the effects of reduced food intake, independent of temporal differences in consumption, we studied AL (unlimited food access)-fed and CR (fed one time daily) rats along with groups temporally matched for feeding [fed 3 meals (M) daily]: MAL and MCR, eating 100 and 60% of AL intake, respectively. Insulin-stimulated glucose transport by isolated muscle was increased in MCR and CR vs. AL and MAL; there was no significant difference for MCR vs. CR or MAL vs. AL. Intramuscular triglyceride concentration, which is inversely related to insulin sensitivity in some conditions, did not differ among groups. Muscle concentration of UDP-N-acetylhexosamines [end products of the hexosamine biosynthetic pathway (HBP)] was lower in MCR vs. MAL despite unaltered glutamine-fructose-6-phosphate aminotransferase activity (rate-limiting enzyme for HBP). These results indicate that the CR-induced increase in insulin-stimulated glucose transport in muscle is attributable to an altered amount, not timing, of food intake and is independent of lower triglyceride concentration. They further suggest that enhanced insulin action might involve changes in HBP.

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