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J Appl Physiol (1985). 1992 Nov;73(5):1873-80.

Plasma glucose kinetics during exercise in subjects with high and low lactate thresholds.

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Department of Medicine, Washington University School of Medicine, St. Louis, Missouri 63110.


The purpose of this study was to test the hypothesis that the rate of plasma glucose oxidation during exercise is inversely related to muscle respiratory capacity. To this end, 14 subjects were studied: in 7 of these subjects, the blood lactate threshold (LT) occurred at a relatively high intensity [i.e., at 65 +/- 2% of peak cycle ergometer oxygen uptake (VO2 peak)], whereas in the other 7 subjects, LT occurred at a relatively low intensity (i.e., at 45 +/- 2% of VO2 peak). VO2peak did not differ between the two groups, but citrate synthase activity in the vastus lateralis muscle was 53% higher (P < 0.05) in the high LT group. A primed continuous infusion of [U-13C]glucose was used to quantify rates of glucose appearance (Ra), disappearance (Rd), and oxidation (R(ox)) during 90 min of exercise at 55% VO2peak. Although both absolute and relative rates of oxygen uptake during exercise were similar in the two groups, mean Ra and Rd were 17% lower (P < 0.001) in the high LT group, and mean R(ox) was 25% lower (21.0 +/- 2.6 vs. 27.9 +/- 2.6; P < 0.001). The percentage of total energy derived from glucose oxidation was inversely related to muscle citrate synthase activity (r = -0.85; P < 0.01). These data support the concept that skeletal muscle respiratory capacity has a major role in determining the metabolic response to submaximal exercise.

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