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Annu Rev Med. 1999;50:277-90.

Applications of NMR spectroscopy to study muscle glycogen metabolism in man.

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Department of Internal Medicine III, University of Vienna Medical School, Austria.


Prior to the advent of nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) spectroscopy, human glucose metabolism was studied through tracer and tissue biopsy methodology. NMR spectroscopy now provides a noninvasive means to monitor metabolic flux and intracellular metabolite concentrations continuously. 13C NMR spectroscopy has shown that muscle glycogen synthesis accounts for the majority of insulin-stimulated muscle glucose uptake in normal volunteers and that defects in this process are chiefly responsible for insulin resistance in type 1 and type 2 diabetes mellitus, as well as in other insulin resistant states (obesity, insulin-resistant offspring of type 2 diabetic parents, elevation of plasma FFA concentrations). Furthermore, using 31P NMR spectroscopy to measure intracellular glucose-6-phosphate, it has been shown that defects in insulin-stimulated glucose transport/phosphorylation activity are primarily responsible for the insulin resistance in these states.

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