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J Appl Physiol (1985). 2006 Jan;100(1):249-57. Epub 2005 Sep 29.

Physical inactivity amplifies the sensitivity of skeletal muscle to the lipid-induced downregulation of lipoprotein lipase activity.

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E102 VMB, 1600 E. Rollins Rd., Department of Biomedical Sciences, College of Veterinary Medicine, University of Missouri-Columbia, Columbia, Missouri 65211, USA.


Physical inactivity is a risk factor for lipoprotein disorders and the metabolic syndrome. Physical inactivity has a powerful effect on suppressing lipoprotein lipase (LPL) activity in skeletal muscle, the rate-limiting enzyme for hydrolysis of triglyceride (TG)-rich lipoproteins. We tested the ability of several compounds to prevent the decrease in LPL. The present study minimized standing and ordinary light nonexercise movements in rats to compare the effects of inactivity and nonexercise activity thermogenesis (NEAT) on LPL activity. The key new insight was that the typically quick decrease in LPL activity of oxidative muscle caused by physical inactivity was prevented by nicotinic acid (NA), whereas inhibitors of TNF-alpha, inducible nitric oxide synthase, and NF-kappaB had no such effect. NA was administered at a dose known to acutely impede the appearance of plasma TG from the liver and free fatty acids from adipose tissue, and it was effective at intentionally lowering plasma lipid concentrations to the same level in active and inactive groups. As measured from heparin-releasable LPL activity, LPL in the microvasculature of the most oxidative muscles was approximately 90% lower in the inactive group compared with controls, and this suppression was completely blocked by NA. In contrast to inactivity, NA did not raise muscle LPL in ambulatory controls, whereas a large exogenous fat delivery did decrease LPL activity. In vitro control studies revealed that NA did not have a direct effect on skeletal muscle LPL activity. In conclusion, physical inactivity amplifies the ability of plasma lipids to suppress muscle LPL activity. The light ambulatory contractions responsible for NEAT are sufficient for mitigating these deleterious effects.

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