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Can J Appl Physiol. 1997 Dec;22(6):531-52.

Lactate transport and lactate transporters in skeletal muscle.

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Department of Kinesiology, University of Waterloo, Ontario.


The study of lactate transport in skeletal muscle had until recently been hampered by the lack of suitable sarcolemmal vesicle preparations. Researchers are now at the threshold of developing some very new understandings about the movement of lactate into and out of skeletal muscle with (a) evidence for a lactate transport system in skeletal muscle, (b) the very recent cloning of several monocarboxylate transporter genes, (c) the expression of at least one monocarboxylate transporter protein that facilitates the transport of lactate in heart and skeletal muscle, and (d) the realization that lactate transport can be altered with changes in chronic muscle activity. The MCT1 expression patterns in metabolically heterogeneous skeletal suggests that a primary role of this lactate transporter is to take up lactate into the oxidative muscle fibers where it may be used as a fuel in mitochondrial oxidation. Increments in both MCT1 and lactate transport with training support this role.

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