Glucose transporters and maximal transport are increased in endurance- trained rat soleus

C. A. Slentz, E. A. Gulve, K. J. Rodnick, E. J. Henriksen, J. H. Youn, J. O. Holloszy

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56 Scopus citations


Voluntary wheel running induces an increase in the concentration of the regulatable glucose transporter (GLUT4) in rat plantaris muscle but not in soleus muscle (K. J. Rodnick, J. O. Holloszy, C. E. Mondon, and D. E. James. Diabetes 39:1425-1429, 1990). Wheel running also causes hypertrophy of the soleus in rats. This study was undertaken to ascertain whether endurance training that induces enzymatic adaptations but no hypertrophy results in an increase in the concentration of GLUT4 protein in rat soleus (slow-twitch red) muscle and, if it does, to determine whether there is a concomitant increase in maximal glucose transport activity. Female rats were trained by treadmill running at 25 m/min up a 15% grade, 90 min/day, 6 days/wk for 3 wk. This training program induced increases of 52% in citrate synthase activity, 66% in hexokinase activity, and 47% in immunoreactive GLUT4 protein concentration in soleus muscles without causing hypertrophy. Glucose transport activity stimulated maximally with insulin plus contractile activity was increased to roughly the same extent (44%) as GLUT4 protein content in soleus muscle by the treadmill exercise training. In a second set of experiments, we examined whether a swim-training program increases glucose transport activity in the soleus in the presence of a maximally effective concentration of insulin. The swimming program induced a 44% increase in immunoreactive GLUT4 protein concentration. Glucose transport activity maximally stimulated with insulin was 62% greater in soleus muscle of the swimmers than in untrained controls. Training did not alter the basal rate of 2-deoxyglucose uptake. These findings provide evidence that an increase in GLUT4 protein concentration is a component of the adaptation of soleus muscle to endurance exercise and that the enlarged pool of glucose transporters is responsive to insulin. They also provide support for the hypothesis that a muscle's maximal glucose transport activity is determined by its GLUT4 protein content.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)486-492
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Applied Physiology
Issue number2
StatePublished - 1992
Externally publishedYes


  • GLUT4
  • exercise training
  • glucose transport
  • insulin
  • skeletal muscle

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physiology
  • Physiology (medical)


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