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J Appl Physiol (1985). 2001 Jun;90(6):2019-24.

Effects of high-intensity swimming training on GLUT-4 and glucose transport activity in rat skeletal muscle.

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Department of Physiology and Biomechanics, National Institute of Fitness and Sports, Kanoya City, Kagoshima 891-2393, Japan.


This study was performed to assess the effects of short-term, extremely high-intensity intermittent exercise training on the GLUT-4 content of rat skeletal muscle. Three- to four-week-old male Sprague-Dawley rats with an initial body weight ranging from 45 to 55 g were used for this study. These rats were randomly assigned to an 8-day period of high-intensity intermittent exercise training (HIT), relatively high-intensity intermittent prolonged exercise training (RHT), or low-intensity prolonged exercise training (LIT). Age-matched sedentary rats were used as a control. In the HIT group, the rats repeated fourteen 20-s swimming bouts with a weight equivalent to 14, 15, and 16% of body weight for the first 2, the next 4, and the last 2 days, respectively. Between exercise bouts, a 10-s pause was allowed. RHT consisted of five 17-min swimming bouts with a 3-min rest between bouts. During the first bout, the rat swam without weight, whereas during the following four bouts, the rat was attached to a weight equivalent to 4 and 5% of its body weight for the first 5 days and the following 3 days, respectively. Rats in the LIT group swam 6 h/day for 8 days in two 3-h bouts separated by 45 min of rest. In the first experiment, the HIT, LIT, and control rats were compared. GLUT-4 content in the epitrochlearis muscle in the HIT and LIT groups after training was significantly higher than that in the control rats by 83 and 91%, respectively. Furthermore, glucose transport activity, stimulated maximally by both insulin (2 mU/ml) (HIT: 48%, LIT: 75%) and contractions (25 10-s tetani) (HIT: 55%, LIT: 69%), was higher in the training groups than in the control rats. However, no significant differences in GLUT-4 content or in maximal glucose transport activity in response to both insulin and contractions were observed between the two training groups. The second experiment demonstrated that GLUT-4 content after HIT did not differ from that after RHT (66% higher in trained rats than in control). In conclusion, the present investigation demonstrated that 8 days of HIT lasting only 280 s elevated both GLUT-4 content and maximal glucose transport activity in rat skeletal muscle to a level similar to that attained after LIT, which has been considered a tool to increase GLUT-4 content maximally.

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