Testosterone increases lactate transport, monocarboxylate transporter (MCT) 1 and MCT4 in rat skeletal muscle

J Physiol. 2006 Nov 15;577(Pt 1):433-43. doi: 10.1113/jphysiol.2006.115436. Epub 2006 Sep 7.


We have examined the effects of administration of testosterone for 7 days on monocarboxylate transporter (MCT) 1 and MCT4 mRNAs and proteins in seven metabolically heterogeneous rat hindlimb muscles and in the heart. In addition, we also examined the effects of testosterone treatment on plasmalemmal MCT1 and MCT4, and lactate transport into giant sarcolemmal vesicles prepared from red and white hindlimb muscles and the heart. Testosterone did not alter MCT1 or MCT4 mRNA, except in the plantaris muscle. Testosterone increased MCT1 (20%-77%, P < 0.05) and MCT4 protein (29%-110%, P< 0.05) in five out of seven muscles examined. In contrast, in the heart MCT1 protein was not increased (P> 0.05), and MCT 4 mRNA and protein were not detected. There was no correlation between the testosterone-induced increments in MCT1 and MCT4 proteins. Muscle fibre composition was not associated with testosterone-induced increments in MCT1 protein. In contrast, there was a strong positive relationship between the testosterone-induced increments in MCT4 protein and the fast-twitch fibre composition of rat muscles. Lactate transport into giant sarcolemmal vesicles was increased in red (23%, P< 0.05) and white muscles (21%, P< 0.05), and in the heart (58%, P< 0.05) of testosterone-treated animals (P< 0.05). However, plasmalemmal MCT1 protein (red, +40%, P< 0.05; white, +39%, P< 0.05) and plasmalemmal MCT4 protein (red, +25%, P< 0.05; white, +48%, P< 0.05) were increased only in skeletal muscle. In the heart, plasmalemmal MCT1 protein was reduced (-20%, P< 0.05). In conclusion, these studies have shown that testosterone induces an increase in both MCT1 and MCT4 proteins and their plasmalemmal content in skeletal muscle. However, the testosterone-induced effect was tissue-specific, as MCT1 protein expression was not altered in the heart. In the heart, the testosterone-induced increase in lactate transport cannot be explained by changes in plasmalemmal MCT1 content, but in skeletal muscle the increase in the rate of lactate transport was associated with increases in plasmalemmal MCT1 and MCT4.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Biological Transport, Active / drug effects
  • Lactic Acid / metabolism*
  • Male
  • Monocarboxylic Acid Transporters / metabolism*
  • Muscle Proteins / metabolism*
  • Muscle, Skeletal / drug effects
  • Muscle, Skeletal / metabolism*
  • Rats
  • Rats, Wistar
  • Sarcolemma / drug effects
  • Sarcolemma / metabolism*
  • Symporters / metabolism*
  • Testosterone / pharmacology*


  • Monocarboxylic Acid Transporters
  • Muscle Proteins
  • Slc16a3 protein, rat
  • Symporters
  • monocarboxylate transport protein 1
  • Lactic Acid
  • Testosterone