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J Appl Physiol (1985). 2010 Oct;109(4):1203-10. doi: 10.1152/japplphysiol.00064.2010. Epub 2010 Jul 15.

Daily physical activity enhances reactivity to insulin in skeletal muscle arterioles of hyperphagic Otsuka Long-Evans Tokushima Fatty rats.

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Department of Nutrition and Exercise Physiology, University of Missouri, Columbia, USA.


Insulin-mediated glucose disposal is dependent on the vasodilator effects of insulin. In type 2 diabetes, insulin-stimulated vasodilation is impaired as a result of an imbalance in NO and ET-1 production. We tested the hypothesis that chronic voluntary wheel running (RUN) prevents impairments in insulin-stimulated vasodilation associated with obesity and type 2 diabetes independent of the effects of RUN on adiposity by randomizing Otsuka Long Evans Tokushima Fatty (OLETF) rats, a model of hyperphagia-induced obesity and type 2 diabetes, to 1) RUN, 2) caloric restriction (CR; diet adjusted to match body weights of RUN group), or 3) sedentary control (SED) groups (n = 8/group) at 4 wk. At 40 wk, NO- and ET-1-mediated vasoreactivity to insulin (1-1,000 μIU/ml) was assessed in the presence of a nonselective ET-1 receptor blocker (tezosentan) or a NO synthase (NOS) inhibitor [N(G)-nitro-L-arginine methyl ester (L-NAME)], respectively, in second-order arterioles isolated from the white portion of the gastrocnemius muscle. Body weight, fasting plasma glucose, and hemoglobin A1c were lower in RUN and CR than SED (P < 0.05); however, the glucose area under the curve (AUC) following the intraperitoneal glucose tolerance test was lower only in the RUN group (P < 0.05). Vasodilator responses to all doses of insulin were greater in RUN than SED or CR in the presence of a tezosentan (P < 0.05), but group differences in vasoreactivity to insulin with coadministration of L-NAME were not observed. We conclude daily wheel running prevents obesity and type 2 diabetes-associated declines in insulin-stimulated vasodilation in skeletal muscle arterioles through mechanisms that appear to be NO mediated and independent of attenuating excess adiposity in hyperphagic rats.

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