Metabolic fate of lactate after vigorous activity in the leopard frog, Rana pipiens

Am J Physiol. 1992 Feb;262(2 Pt 2):R245-54. doi: 10.1152/ajpregu.1992.262.2.R245.


Although the ability of isolated frog muscle to synthesize glycogen from lactate has long been known, it has never been demonstrated that this metabolic activity occurs in the intact frog. Our results clearly indicate that lactate glycogenesis in frog muscle occurs to a significant extent in vivo. During recovery from strenuous exercise, most of the lactate accumulated by frogs seems to be recycled into muscle glycogen because the lactate that disappears during recovery could account nearly stoichiometrically for the glycogen that accumulates in muscle. Furthermore, the decrease in body lactate and the increase in muscle glycogen follow corresponding time courses, suggesting a precursor-product relationship between lactate and glycogen. During recovery from intense exercise, hepatectomized and normal frogs have nearly identical extents of lactate elimination and glycogen synthesis. This suggests that muscle is the main tissue responsible for the recycling of lactate into muscle glycogen and that liver plays a negligible role in lactate disposal. The negligible hepatic contribution to lactate recycling results in part from the liver's incapacity to produce glucose from lactate. In support of this proposition, we show that frog liver perfused in vitro is unable to incorporate any detectable labeled lactate into glucose despite its excellent physiological integrity. Changes in dietary status, training state, season at which the experiments were done, exercise status, and composition of the perfusion media (pH, hormonal composition, physiological saline vs. culture medium) did not give rise to lactate gluconeogenesis. Because frog liver contains all the regulatory enzymes of the gluconeogenic pathway, its inability to synthesize glucose from lactate is not due to an absence of pyruvate carboxylase. A limited ability for lactate uptake may explain why frog liver cannot produce glucose from lactate.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Gluconeogenesis
  • Glycogen / metabolism
  • Hepatectomy
  • Lactates / metabolism*
  • Lactic Acid
  • Liver / metabolism
  • Perfusion
  • Physical Exertion*
  • Rana pipiens / metabolism*
  • Rest
  • Time Factors


  • Lactates
  • Lactic Acid
  • Glycogen