Muscle glucose uptake in the rat after suspension with single hindlimb weight bearing

C. S. Stump, C. R. Woodman, R. F. Fregosi, C. M. Tipton

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Scopus citations


This study was designed to examine the effect of non-weight-bearing conditions and the systemic influences of simulated microgravity on rat hindlimb muscles. For this purpose, rats were suspended (SUS) in a head-down position (45°) with the left hindlimb nonweight bearing (NWB) and the right hindlimb bearing 20% of presuspension body mass (WB). Weight bearing by the SUS-WB limb was accomplished by using a platform connected to a rod in sleeve, cable, and pulley apparatus to which weight could be added. Rats (250-325 g) were assigned to SUS or cage control (CC) conditions for 14 days. The angle between the foot and leg for SUS-WB and CC remained similar (20- 30°) throughout the experiment while the SUS-NWB hindlimbs extended to ~140° by day 12. On day 14, the soleus, plantaris, and gastrocnemius muscles from the SUS-NWB limbs exhibited significantly lower (P ≤ 0.05) masses than presuspension mass values (29, 11, and 21%, respectively). Weight bearing by the SUS-WB limbs prevented the loss of mass by these muscles. In separate groups of SUS and CC rats, 2-deoxyglucose uptake during hindlimb perfusion was significantly higher in both SUS-NWB and SUS-WB hindlimbs at 24,000 μU/ml of insulin compared with CC for all the muscles examined (21- 80%). In addition, extracellular space (ml/g) was significantly greater in the soleus muscles from both the SUS-NWB and SUS-WB hindlimbs (64%) compared with CC muscles. These results suggest that the increases in hindlimb muscle glucose uptake and extracellular space associated with simulated microgravity persist with hindlimb weight bearing despite the prevention of muscle atrophy. The mechanism(s) responsible for these effects are unknown at the present time.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2072-2078
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Applied Physiology
Issue number5
StatePublished - 1993


  • 2-deoxyglucose
  • electromyography
  • glycogen
  • hindlimb perfusion
  • simulated microgravity
  • unweighting

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physiology
  • Physiology (medical)


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