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Biochem J. 1988 Jun 15;252(3):733-7.

Glucose-induced insulin resistance of skeletal-muscle glucose transport and uptake.

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August Krogh Institute, University of Copenhagen, Denmark.


The ability of glucose and insulin to modify insulin-stimulated glucose transport and uptake was investigated in perfused skeletal muscle. Here we report that perfusion of isolated rat hindlimbs for 5 h with 12 mM-glucose and 20,000 microunits of insulin/ml leads to marked, rapidly developing, impairment of insulin action on muscle glucose transport and uptake. Thus maximal insulin-stimulated glucose uptake at 12 mM-glucose decreased from 34.8 +/- 1.9 to 11.5 +/- 1.1 mumol/h per g (mean +/- S.E.M., n = 10) during 5 h perfusion. This decrease in glucose uptake was accompanied by a similar change in muscle glucose transport as measured by uptake of 3-O-[14C]-methylglucose. Simultaneously, muscle glycogen stores increased to 2-3.5 times initial values, depending on fibre type. Perfusion for 5 h in the presence of glucose but in the absence of insulin decreased subsequent insulin action on glucose uptake by 80% of the effect of glucose with insulin, but without an increase in muscle glycogen concentration. Perfusion for 5 h with insulin but without glucose, and with subsequent addition of glucose back to the perfusate, revealed glucose uptake and transport similar to initial values obtained in the presence of glucose and insulin. The data indicate that exposure to a moderately increased glucose concentration (12 mM) leads to rapidly developing resistance of skeletal-muscle glucose transport and uptake to maximal insulin stimulation. The effect of glucose is enhanced by simultaneous insulin exposure, whereas exposure for 5 h to insulin itself does not cause measurable resistance to maximal insulin stimulation.

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