New article by Esther Phielix

Esther Phielix has published a new article titled “Athletes feature greater rates of muscle glucose transport and glycogen synthesis during lipid infusion” in the Journal of Clinical Investigation Insight. The full article can be found on https://doi.org/10.1172/jci.insight.127928 

Read the abstract below.

BACKGROUND: Insulin resistance results from impaired skeletal muscle glucose transport/phosphorylation, linked to augmented lipid availability. Despite greater intramuscular lipids, athletes are highly insulin sensitive, which could result from higher rates of insulin-stimulated glycogen synthesis or glucose transport/phosphorylation and oxidation. Thus, we examined the time course of muscle glycogen and glucose-6-phosphate concentrations during low and high systemic lipid availability.

METHODS: Eight endurance-trained and 9 sedentary humans (VO2 peak: 56 ± 2 vs. 33 ± 2 mL/kg/min, P < 0.05) underwent 6-hour hyperinsulinemic-isoglycemic clamp tests with infusions of triglycerides or saline in a randomized crossover design. Glycogen and glucose-6-phosphate concentrations were monitored in vastus lateralis muscles using 13C/31P magnetic resonance spectroscopy.

RESULTS: Athletes displayed a 25% greater (P < 0.05) insulin-stimulated glucose disposal rate (Rd) than sedentary participants. During Intralipid infusion, insulin sensitivity remained higher in the athletes (ΔRd: 25 ± 3 vs. 17 ± 3 μmol/kg/min, P < 0.05), supported by higher glucose transporter type 4 protein expression than in sedentary humans. Compared to saline infusion, AUC of glucose-6-phosphate remained unchanged during Intralipid infusion in athletes (1.6 ± 0.2 mmol/L vs. 1.4 ± 0.2 [mmol/L] × h, P = n.s.) but tended to decrease by 36% in sedentary humans (1.7 ± 0.4 vs. 1.1 ± 0.1 [mmol/L] × h, P < 0.059). This drop was accompanied by a 72% higher rate of net glycogen synthesis in the athletes upon Intralipid infusion (47 ± 9 vs. 13 ± 3 μmol/kg/min, P < 0.05).

CONCLUSION: Athletes feature higher skeletal muscle glucose disposal and glycogen synthesis during increased lipid availability, which primarily results from maintained insulin-stimulated glucose transport with increased myocellular glucose-6-phosphate levels for subsequent glycogen synthesis.

TRIAL REGISTRATION: ClinicalTrials.gov NCT01229059.FUNDINGGerman Federal Ministry of Health (BMG).