Interactions of Exercise Training and Lipoic Acid on Skeletal Muscle Glucose Transport in Obese Zucker Rats

Interactions of Exercise Training
and Lipoic Acid on Skeletal Muscle
Glucose Transport in Obese Zucker Rats

This section is compiled by Frank M. Painter, D.C.
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FROM:   J Appl Physiol 2001;   91 (1) Jul:   145153

Saengsirisuwan V, Kinnick TR, Schmit MB, Henriksen EJ

Muscle Metabolism Laboratory,
Department of Physiology,
University of Arizona College of Medicine,
Tucson, Arizona 85721-0093, USA

Exercise training (ET) or the antioxidant R(+)-alpha-lipoic acid (R-ALA) individually increases insulin action in the insulin-resistant obese Zucker rat. The purpose of the present study was to determine the interactions of ET and R-ALA on insulin action and oxidative stress in skeletal muscle of the obese Zucker rat. Animals either remained sedentary, received R-ALA (30 mg x kg body wt(-1) x day(-1)), performed ET (treadmill running), or underwent both R-ALA treatment and ET for 6 wk. During an oral glucose tolerance test, ET alone or in combination with R-ALA resulted in a significant lowering of the glucose (26-32%) and insulin (29-30%) responses compared with sedentary controls. R-ALA alone decreased (19%) the glucose-insulin index (indicative of increased insulin sensitivity), and this parameter was reduced (48-52%) to the greatest extent in the ET and combined treatment groups. ET or R-ALA individually increased insulin-mediated glucose transport activity in isolated epitrochlearis (44-48%) and soleus (37-57%) muscles. The greatest increases in insulin action in these muscles (80 and 99%, respectively) were observed in the combined treatment group. Whereas the improvement in insulin-mediated glucose transport in soleus due to R-ALA was associated with decreased protein carbonyl levels (an index of oxidative stress), improvement because of ET was associated with decreased protein carbonyls as well as enhanced GLUT-4 protein. However, there was no interactive effect of ET and R-ALA on GLUT-4 protein or protein carbonyl levels. These results indicate that ET and R-ALA interact in an additive fashion to improve insulin action in insulin-resistant skeletal muscle. Because the further improvement in muscle glucose transport in the combined group was not associated with additional upregulation of GLUT-4 protein or a further reduction in oxidative stress, the mechanism for this interaction must be due to additional, as yet unidentified, factors.

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