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J Clin Invest. 1985 Nov;76(5):1819-27.

Metabolic fate of extracted glucose in normal human myocardium.


Glucose is an important substrate for myocardial metabolism. This study was designed to determine the effect of circulating metabolic substrates on myocardial glucose extraction and to determine the metabolic fate of glucose in normal human myocardium. Coronary sinus and arterial catheters were placed in 23 healthy male volunteers. [6-14C]Glucose was infused as a tracer in 10 subjects. [6-14C]Glucose and [U-13C]lactate were simultaneously infused in the other 13 subjects. Simultaneous blood samples were obtained for chemical analyses of glucose, lactate, and free fatty acids and for the the isotopic analyses of glucose and lactate. Glucose oxidation was assessed by measuring myocardial 14CO2 production. The amount of glucose extracted and oxidized by the myocardium was inversely correlated with the arterial level of free fatty acids (r = -0.71; P less than 0.0001). 20% (range, 0-63%) of the glucose extraction underwent immediate oxidation. Chemical lactate analysis showed a net extraction of 26.0 +/- 16.4%. However, isotopic analysis demonstrated that lactate was being released by the myocardium. In the 13 subjects receiving the dual-carbon-labeled isotopes, the lactate released was 0.09 +/- 0.04 mumol/ml and 49.5 +/- 29.5% of this lactate was from exogenous glucose. This study demonstrates that the circulating level of free fatty acids plays a major role in determining the amount of glucose extracted and oxidized by the normal human myocardium. Only 20.1 +/- 19.4% of the glucose extracted underwent oxidation, and 13.0 +/- 9.0% of the glucose extracted was metabolized to lactate and released by the myocardium. Thus, 60-70% of the glucose extracted by the normal myocardium is probably stored as glycogen in the fasting, resting state.

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