Unweighting of the rat soleus by tail-cast suspension results in increased insulin action on stimulation of glucose transport, which can be explained, at least in part, by increased insulin binding and enhanced glucose transporter protein levels. Glucose transport is also activated by an insulin-independent mechanism stimulated by in vitro muscle contractions or hypoxia. Therefore, the purpose of this study was to determine if soleus unweighting leads to an enhanced response of the insulin-independent pathway for stimulation of glucose transport. The hindlimbs of juvenile male Wistar rats were suspended by a tail-cast system for 3 or 6 days. Glucose transport activity in isolated soleus strips (~18 mg) was then assessed by using 2- deoxy-[1,2-3H]glucose (2-DG) uptake. Insulin (2 mU/ml) had a progressively enhanced effect on 2-DG uptake after 3 and 6 days of unweighting (+44 and +72% vs. control, respectively; both P < 0.001). At these same times, there was no difference between groups for activation of 2-DG uptake by maximally effective treatments with contractions (10 tetanuses), hypoxia (60 min), or caffeine (5 mM). These results indicate that the enhanced capacity for stimulation of glucose transport after soleus unweighting is restricted to the insulin pathway, with no apparent enhancement of the insulin-independent pathway.
- 2-deoxy-[1,2-H]glucose uptake
- simulated weightlessness
- skeletal muscle
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Physiology (medical)