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J Clin Endocrinol Metab. 2003 Mar;88(3):1271-9.

Glucose transport and phosphorylation in skeletal muscle in obesity: insight from a muscle-specific positron emission tomography model.

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  • 1Department of Medicine, University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania 15261, USA.


A controversial area in understanding the contribution of obesity to skeletal muscle insulin resistance is the distribution of control of glucose metabolism across proximal steps of glucose delivery, trans-membrane transport, and intracellular trapping via phosphorylation. Dynamic positron emission tomography (PET) imaging of skeletal muscle [(18)F]2-deoxy-2-D-glucose ((18)F-FDG) uptake provides an in vivo method for assessment of these steps in humans. In the current study we have examined the application of a four-compartment skeletal muscle-specific model for assessment of (18)F-FDG metabolism that takes interstitial (18)F-FDG kinetics into account and compared this to the classic three-compartment model in lean and obese volunteers. We assessed the effects of insulin infusions at three rates (0, 40, and 120 mU/m(2).min). In comparison with the classic model, the skeletal muscle-specific model reveals more clearly definable effects of insulin on transmembrane glucose transport and an impairment of this response in obesity. Compared with the classic model for assessment of (18)F-FDG metabolism, both the skeletal muscle-specific and the classic model indicate that, with respect to distribution of control, glucose phosphorylation has an important effect at low to moderate levels of insulin stimulation in both lean and obese subjects.

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