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Cell Biochem Funct. 2015 Oct;33(7):435-42. doi: 10.1002/cbf.3128. Epub 2015 Oct 14.

Role of exercise intensity on GLUT4 content, aerobic fitness and fasting plasma glucose in type 2 diabetic mice.

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Graduate Program on Physical Education and Health, Catholic University of Brasilia, Brasília, DF, Brazil.
Department of Physiology and Biophysics, Institute of Biological Sciences, Federal University of Minas Gerais, Belo Horizonte, MG, Brazil.
Basic Nursing Department, School of Nursing, Federal University of Minas Gerais, Belo Horizonte, MG, Brazil.
National Institute of Science and Technology in Nanobiopharmaceutics (INCT-NANOBIOFAR), Belo Horizonte, MG, Brazil.
Program of Genome Sciences and Biotechnology, Catholic University of Brasilia, Brasília, DF, Brazil.
Department of Biophysics, Federal University of São Paulo, São Paulo, SP, Brazil.
Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, University of Miami Miller School of Medicine, Miami, FL, USA.


Type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2D) results in several metabolic and cardiovascular dysfunctions, clinically characterized by hyperglycaemia due to lower glucose uptake and oxidation. Physical exercise is an effective intervention for glycaemic control. However, the effects of exercising at different intensities have not yet been addressed. The present study analysed the effects of 8 weeks of training performed at different exercise intensities on type 4 glucose transporters (GLUT4) content and glycaemic control of T2D (ob/ob) and non-diabetic mice (ob/OB). The animals were divided into six groups, with four groups being subjected either to low-intensity (ob/obL and ob/OBL: 3% body weight, three times/week/40 min) or high-intensity (ob/obH and ob/OBH: 6% body weight, three times per week per 20 min) swimming training. An incremental swimming test was performed to measure aerobic fitness. After the training intervention period, glycaemia and the content of GLUT4 were quantified. Although both training intensities were beneficial, the high-intensity regimen induced a more significant improvement in GLUT4 levels and glycaemic profile compared with sedentary controls (p < 0.05). Only animals in the high-intensity exercise group improved aerobic fitness. Thus, our study shows that high-intensity training was more effective for increasing GLUT4 content and glycaemia reduction in insulin-resistant mice, perhaps because of a higher metabolic demand imposed by this form of exercise.


GLUT4; diabetes mellitus; glucose content; high-intensity exercise; low-intensity exercise

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