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Diabetes. 2002 Sep;51(9):2703-8.

Isoform-specific regulation of 5' AMP-activated protein kinase in skeletal muscle from obese Zucker (fa/fa) rats in response to contraction.

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Department of Clinical Physiology and Department of Physiology and Pharmacology, Karolinska Institute, Stockholm, Sweden.


Glucose transport can be activated in skeletal muscle in response to insulin via activation of phosphoinositide (PI) 3-kinase and in response to contractions or hypoxia, presumably via activation of 5' AMP-activated protein kinase (AMPK). We determined the effects of insulin and muscle contraction/hypoxia on PI 3-kinase, AMPK, and glucose transport activity in epitrochlearis skeletal muscle from insulin-resistant Zucker (fa/ fa) rats. Insulin-stimulated glucose transport in isolated skeletal muscle was reduced 47% in obese versus lean rats, with a parallel 42% reduction in tyrosine-associated PI 3-kinase activity. Contraction and hypoxia elicited normal responses for glucose transport in skeletal muscle from insulin-resistant obese rats. Isoform-specific AMPK activity was measured in skeletal muscle in response to insulin, contraction, or hypoxia. Contraction increased AMPKalpha1 activity 2.3-fold in lean rats, whereas no effect was noted in obese rats. Hypoxia increased AMPKalpha1 activity to a similar extent (more than sixfold) in lean and obese rats. Regardless of genotype, contraction, and hypoxia, each increased AMPKalpha2 activity more than fivefold, whereas insulin did not alter either AMPKalpha1 or -alpha2 activity in skeletal muscle. In conclusion, obesity-related insulin resistance is associated with an isoform-specific impairment in AMPKalpha1 in response to contraction. However, this impairment does not appear to affect contraction-stimulated glucose transport. Activation of AMPKalpha2 in response to muscle contraction/ exercise is associated with a parallel and normal increase in glucose transport in insulin-resistant skeletal muscle.

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