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Biochem Biophys Res Commun. 2013 Nov 8;441(1):36-41. doi: 10.1016/j.bbrc.2013.10.005. Epub 2013 Oct 10.

Exercise-induced enhancement of insulin sensitivity is associated with accumulation of M2-polarized macrophages in mouse skeletal muscle.

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Department of Metabolism and Endocrinology, Juntendo University Graduate School of Medicine, Tokyo 113-8421, Japan; Sportology Center, Juntendo University Graduate School of Medicine, Tokyo 113-8421, Japan.


Exercise enhances insulin sensitivity in skeletal muscle, but the underlying mechanism remains obscure. Recent data suggest that alternatively activated M2 macrophages enhance insulin sensitivity in insulin target organs such as adipose tissue and liver. Therefore, the aim of this study was to determine the role of anti-inflammatory M2 macrophages in exercise-induced enhancement of insulin sensitivity in skeletal muscle. C57BL6J mice underwent a single bout of treadmill running (20 m/min, 90 min). Twenty-four hours later, ex vivo insulin-stimulated 2-deoxy glucose uptake was found to be increased in plantaris muscle. This change was associated with increased number of CD163-expressing macrophages (i.e. M2-polarized macrophages) in skeletal muscle. Systemic depletion of macrophages by pretreatment of mice with clodronate-containing liposome abrogated both CD163-positive macrophage accumulation in skeletal muscle as well as the enhancement of insulin sensitivity after exercise, without affecting insulin-induced phosphorylation of Akt and AS160 or exercise-induced GLUT4 expression. These results suggest that accumulation of M2-polarized macrophages is involved in exercise-induced enhancement of insulin sensitivity in mouse skeletal muscle, independently of the phosphorylation of Akt and AS160 and expression of GLUT4.


Exercise; Insulin sensitivity; M2 macrophages

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