Hindlimb suspension (HS) of rats is a model of simulated weightlessness and induces dynamic alterations in insulin action. In the present study, the effect of acute (1-day) HS on whole-body glucose tolerance and insulin action on skeletal muscle glucose transport was assessed in juvenile, female Sprague-Dawley rats. Compared to weight-bearing control rats, 1-day HS animals displayed significantly decreased glucose tolerance and diminished whole-body insulin sensitivity. Glucose transport activity in the 1-day unweighted soleus muscle was significantly decreased (P < .05) compared to weight-bearing control muscles both in the absence and presence of insulin (2 mU/mL). Insulin-mediated glucose transport activity in the extensor digitorum longus (EDL) muscles also tended (P = .09) to be lower. There was no change in the protein expression of insulin receptor β-subunit (IR-β), insulin receptor substrate-1 (IRS-1), IRS-2, the p85 subunit of phosphatidylinositol-3 kinase (PI3-kinase), Akt, and glucose transporter protein 4 (GLUT-4). The activities of these proteins were also unchanged, as insulin-stimulated IR-β tyrosine phosphorylation, IRS-1 tyrosine phosphorylation, IRS-1-associated p85, and Akt serine phosphorylation were similar to controls. However, basal Akt phosphorylation was significantly depressed (P < .05) in the 1-day HS soleus. In addition, the protein expression and basal phosphorylation of the stress-activated p38 mitogen-activated protein kinase (p38 MAPK) were significantly elevated (P < .05) in the 1-day unweighted soleus. These results indicate that the development of insulin resistance in the 1-day unweighted soleus is not due to impaired functionality of elements involved in the IR/IRS-1/PI3-kinase/Akt signaling pathway. However, activation of p38 MAPK may play a role in this response.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism