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Diabetologia. 1996 Oct;39(10):1180-9.

Insulin action on glucose transport and plasma membrane GLUT4 content in skeletal muscle from patients with NIDDM.

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Department of Clinical Physiology, Karolinska Hospital, Karolinska Institute, Stockholm, Sweden.


We investigated the response of the glucose transport system to insulin, in the presence of ambient glucose concentrations, in isolated skeletal muscle from seven patients with non-insulin-dependent diabetes mellitus (NIDDM) (age, 55 +/- 3 years, BMI 27.4 +/- 1.8 kg/m2) and seven healthy control subjects (age, 54 +/- 3 years, BMI 26.5 +/- 1.1 kg/m2). Insulin-mediated whole body glucose utilization was similar between the groups when studied in the presence of ambient glucose concentrations (approximately 10 mmol/l for the NIDDM patients and 5 mmol/l for the control subjects). Samples were obtained from the vastus lateralis muscle, by means of an open muscle biopsy procedure, before and after a 40-min insulin infusion. An increase in serum insulin levels from 54 +/- 12 to 588 +/- 42 pmol/l, induced a 1.6 +/- 0.2-fold increase in glucose transporter protein (GLUT4) in skeletal muscle plasma membranes obtained from the control subjects (p < 0.05), whereas no significant increase was noted in plasma membrane fractions prepared from NIDDM muscles, despite a similar increase in serum insulin levels. At concentrations of 5 mmol/l 3-O-methylglucose in vitro, insulin (600 pmol/l) induced a 2.2-fold (p < 0.05) increase in glucose transport in NIDDM muscles and a 3.4-fold (p < 0.001) increase in the control muscles. Insulin-stimulated 3-O-methylglucose transport was positively correlated with whole body insulin-mediated glucose uptake in all participants (r = 0.78, p < 0.001) and negatively correlated with fasting plasma glucose levels in the NIDDM subjects (r = 0.93, p < 0.001). Muscle fibre type distribution and capillarization were similar between the groups. Our results suggest that insulin-stimulated glucose transport in skeletal muscle from patients with NIDDM is down-regulated in the presence of hyperglycaemia. The increased flux of glucose as a consequence of hyperglycaemia may result in resistance to any further insulin-induced gain of GLUT4 at the level of the plasma membrane.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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