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J Appl Physiol (1985). 1996 Feb;80(2):411-5.

Skeletal muscle GLUT-4 and postexercise muscle glycogen storage in humans.

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  • 1Department of Physiology, Royal Melbourne Hospital, The University of Melbourne, Parkville, Victoria, Australia.


The purpose of this study was to examine the relationship between skeletal muscle GLUT-4 protein and postexercise glycogen storage in human subjects fed adequate carbohydrate. Eleven men completed 2 h of cycling, and a biopsy of the vastus lateralis was performed immediately after exercise cessation for the determination of muscle GLUT-4 protein and glycogen concentrations, glycogen synthase activity, and citrate synthase activity. The subjects ingested meals providing 2.0 g carbohydrate/kg body weight at 0, 2, and 4 h postexercise, and a second biopsy was performed 6 h postexercise. Muscle glycogen concentration increased significantly during the 6-h recovery period (glycogen immediately postexercise, 27.2 +/- 5.4 mmol/kg wet weight; glycogen storage, 52.4 +/- 2.9 mmol x kg wet weight-1 x 6 h-1; P<0.05). Glycogen storage during recovery was directly related to GLUT-4 protein (2.20 +/- 0.33 arbitrary standard units; r = 0.63; P<0.05) and inversely related to glycogen immediately postexercise (r = -0.70; P < 0.05). A direct correlation existed between glycogen storage during recovery and the activity of the I form of glycogen synthase (r = 0.60; P < 0.05). These results suggest that muscle GLUT-4 protein concentration, as well as factors relating to glucose disposal, may affect postexercise glycogen storage in humans fed adequate carbohydrate.

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