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Am J Physiol. 1996 Dec;271(6 Pt 1):E1067-72.

Effect of perfusion rate on the time course of insulin-mediated skeletal muscle glucose uptake.

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Department of Medicine, Indiana University Medical Center, Indianapolis, USA.


To better define the time course of skeletal muscle glucose uptake and its modulation by changes in perfusion, we performed systemic euglycemic-hyperinsulinemic clamps (40 mU.m-2.min-1) for a 90-min period in a group of lean, insulin-sensitive subjects (n = 9) on two occasions (approximately 4 wk apart) with insulin-mediated vasodilation intact or inhibited. Insulin-mediated vasodilation was inhibited by an intrafemoral artery infusion of NG-monomethyl-L-arginine (L-NMMA), a specific inhibitor of nitric oxide synthase. During the study, leg blood flow (LBF) and arteriovenous glucose difference (AVG delta) were measured every 10 min; leg glucose uptake (LGU) was calculated as LGU = LBF x AVG delta. The systemic insulin infusion caused a time-dependent increase in LBF from 0.194 +/- 0.024 to 0.349 +/- 0.046 l/min (P < 0.01). The intrafemoral artery infusion of L-NMMA completely inhibited this increase in LBF. AVG delta, LGU, and whole body glucose disposal rates increased in a time-dependent manner in both studies. The maximum AVG delta was lower with insulin-mediated vasodilation intact than when inhibited (25.9 +/- 2.5 vs. 35.0 +/- 1.6 mg/dl, P < 0.001). The time to achieve half-maximal (T1/2) AVG delta was somewhat longer with insulin-mediated vasodilation intact compared with inhibited (35.6 +/- 4.1 vs. 29.7 +/- 1.6 min, P < 0.01). Maximal LGU was 93.9 +/- 26.8 and 57.2 +/- 11.6 mg/min (P < 0.005), and the T1/2 LGU was 50.2 +/- 16.0 and 36.3 +/- 8.8 min (P = 0.1) during intact and inhibited insulin-mediated vasodilation, respectively. Thus insulin-mediated vasodilation has a modest effect in slowing the time course at which insulin stimulates glucose uptake but has a marked effect in augmenting the maximal rate of insulin-stimulated glucose uptake in skeletal muscle. Impaired insulin-mediated vasodilation, as observed in patients with essential hypertension, may explain, at least in part, the insulin resistance observed in these patients.

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