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Am J Physiol Endocrinol Metab. 2001 Dec;281(6):E1151-8.

Human skeletal muscle PDH kinase activity and isoform expression during a 3-day high-fat/low-carbohydrate diet.

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Department of Human Biology and Nutritional Sciences, University of Guelph, Guelph, Ontario N1G 2W1, Canada.


The increase in skeletal muscle pyruvate dehydrogenase kinase (PDK) activity was measured in skeletal muscle of six healthy males after a eucaloric high-fat/low-carbohydrate (HF/LC; 5% carbohydrate, 73% fat, and 22% protein of total energy intake) diet compared with a standardized prediet (50% carbohdyrate, 30% fat, and 21% protein). Biopsies were obtained from the vastus lateralis muscle after 3 days on the prediet (day 0) and after 1, 2, and 3 days of the HF/LC diet. Intact mitchondria were extracted from fresh muscle and analyzed for PDK activity and Western blotting of PDK2 and PDK4 protein. A second biopsy was taken at each time point and frozen for Northern blot analysis of PDK2 and PDK4 mRNAs. PDK activity increased in a linear fashion over the 3-day HF/LC diet and was significantly higher than control by 1 day. PDK activity was 0.09 +/- 0.03, 0.18 +/- 0.05, 0.30 +/- 0.07, and 0.37 +/- 0.09 min(-1) at 0, 1, 2, and 3 days, respectively. PDK4 protein and mRNA increased maximally by day 1, and PDK2 protein and mRNA were unaffected by the HF/LC diet. Resting respiratory exchange ratios decreased after 1 day of the HF/LC diet (from 0.79 +/- 0.02 to 0.72 +/- 0.02) and remained depressed throughout the 3-day dietary intervention (0.68 +/- 0.01). The immediate shift to fat utilization was accompanied by increased blood glycerol, beta-hydroxybutyrate, and plasma free fatty acid concentrations. These results suggest that the continuing increase in PDK activity over the 3-day HF/LC diet is not due to increasing PDK protein beyond 1 day. This could be due to the contribution of another isoform to the total PDK activity or to a continual increase in PDK4 or PDK2 specific activity.

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