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J Clin Invest. 1995 Jul;96(1):427-37.

Mechanisms and time course of impaired skeletal muscle glucose transport activity in streptozocin diabetic rats.

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Metabolism Section, Joslin Diabetes Center, Harvard Medical School, Boston, Massachusetts 02215, USA.


Skeletal muscle glucose transport is altered in diabetes in humans, as well as in rats. To investigate the mechanisms of this abnormality, we measured glucose transport Vmax, the total transporter number, their average intrinsic activity, GLUT4 and GLUT1 contents in skeletal muscle plasma membrane vesicles from basal or insulin-stimulated streptozocin diabetic rats with different duration of diabetes, treated or not with phlorizin. The glucose transport Vmax progressively decreased with the duration of diabetes. In the basal state, this decrease was primarily associated with the reduction of transporter intrinsic activity, which appeared earlier than any change in transporter number or GLUT4 and GLUT1 content. In the insulin-stimulated state, the decrease of transport was mainly associated with severe defects in transporter translocation. Phlorizin treatment partially increased the insulin-stimulated glucose transport by improving the transporter translocation defects. In conclusion, in streptozocin diabetes (a) reduction of intrinsic activity plays a major and early role in the impairment of basal glucose transport; (b) a defect in transporter translocation is the mechanism responsible for the decrease in insulin-stimulated glucose transport; and (c) hyperglycemia per se affects the insulin-stimulated glucose transport by altering the transporter translocation.

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