Glycogen synthase (GS) catalyzes the formation of glycogen in human skeletal muscle, the tissue responsible for disposal of a significant portion of an oral carbohydrate load. Non-insulin-dependent diabetes mellitus (NIDDM) is characterized by fasting and postprandial hyperglycemia in conjunction with reduced rates of insulin-stimulated glucose disposal and storage in peripheral tissues, including muscle. Our objectives in this study were to determine whether ingestion of a mixed meal activates GS in control nondiabetic subjects and whether meal-related GS activation is reduced in NIDDM. To accomplish this, mixed formula meals were administered to 11 NIDDM and 9 age- and weight-matched nondiabetic control subjects. Plasma glucose and insulin values were measured before and for 90 min after meal ingestion. Skeletal muscle biopsies were performed just before and 90 min after meal ingestion for measurement of GS activity. Compared with control subjects, NIDDM subjects had significantly higher postprandial hyperglycemia and reduced postprandial hyperinsulinemia. GS was activated by meal ingestion in control subjects to a significantly greater extent than in NIDDM subjects. In NIDDM subjects, activation of GS was inversely correlated with fasting plasma glucose (r = .69, P < .05). Therefore, NIDDM is characterized by reduced activation of a key step in the process of muscle glycogen repletion after a meal. Reduced activation of GS by a mixed meal in NIDDM may contribute to the reduced glucose disposal after a meal, thus contributing to the hyperglycemia observed in these subjects.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Internal Medicine
- Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism