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Physiol Rev. 2006 Jan;86(1):205-43.

Skeletal muscle lipid metabolism in exercise and insulin resistance.

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Copenhagen Muscle Research Centre, Dept. of Human Physiology, Institute of Exercise and Sports Sciences, University of Copenhagen, 13 Universitetsparken, DK-2100 Copenhagen, Denmark.


Lipids as fuel for energy provision originate from different sources: albumin-bound long-chain fatty acids (LCFA) in the blood plasma, circulating very-low-density lipoproteins-triacylglycerols (VLDL-TG), fatty acids from triacylglycerol located in the muscle cell (IMTG), and possibly fatty acids liberated from adipose tissue adhering to the muscle cells. The regulation of utilization of the different lipid sources in skeletal muscle during exercise is reviewed, and the influence of diet, training, and gender is discussed. Major points deliberated are the methods utilized to measure uptake and oxidation of LCFA during exercise in humans. The role of the various lipid-binding proteins in transmembrane and cytosolic transport of lipids is considered as well as regulation of lipid entry into the mitochondria, focusing on the putative role of AMP-activated protein kinase (AMPK), acetyl CoA carboxylase (ACC), and carnitine during exercise. The possible contribution to fuel provision during exercise of circulating VLDL-TG as well as the role of IMTG is discussed from a methodological point of view. The contribution of IMTG for energy provision may not be large, covering approximately 10% of total energy provision during fasting exercise in male subjects, whereas in females, IMTG may cover a larger proportion of energy delivery. Molecular mechanisms involved in breakdown of IMTG during exercise are also considered focusing on hormone-sensitive lipase (HSL). Finally, the role of lipids in development of insulin resistance in skeletal muscle, including possible molecular mechanisms involved, is discussed.

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