Effects of alkaline pH on the stimulation of glucose transport in rat skeletal muscle

Biochim Biophys Acta. 1993 Feb 9;1145(2):199-204. doi: 10.1016/0005-2736(93)90289-c.


Alkaline pH has been reported to cause release of Ca2+ from skeletal muscle sarcoplasmic reticulum (SR). Elevation of sarcoplasmic Ca2+ concentration is thought to stimulate glucose transport in skeletal muscle. In this context, we examined the effect of alkaline pH (extracellular pH of 8.6) on 3-O-methylglucose transport in skeletal muscle. Incubation of rat epitrochlearis muscles at pH 8.6 for 45 min resulted in an approx. 3-fold increase in glucose transport activity, which was not affected by reducing Ca2+ concentration in the incubation medium and essentially completely blocked by 25 microM dantrolene, an inhibitor of SR Ca2+ release. In addition to stimulating glucose transport by itself, alkaline pH may partially inhibit the stimulation of sugar transport by insulin hypoxia and contractions, as the combined effect of alkaline pH and the maximal effect of insulin, contractions, or hypoxia on glucose transport are not different from the maximal effects of insulin, hypoxia, or contractions alone. The maximal effects of insulin and contractions, and of insulin and hypoxia, on glucose transport are normally additive in muscle. Alkaline pH completely prevented this additivity. In summary, our results show that alkaline pH stimulates glucose transport activity in skeletal muscle and provide evidence suggesting that this effect is mediated by Ca2+. They further show that alkaline pH blocks the additivity of the maximal effects of insulin and contractions or hypoxia suggesting that alkaline pH may partially inhibit the stimulation of glucose transport by insulin, contraction and hypoxia.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • 3-O-Methylglucose
  • Animals
  • Biological Transport / drug effects
  • Calcium / metabolism
  • Glucose / metabolism*
  • Glycogen / analysis
  • Hydrogen-Ion Concentration
  • Insulin / metabolism
  • Male
  • Methylamines / pharmacology
  • Methylglucosides / analysis
  • Muscle Contraction
  • Muscles / metabolism*
  • Phosphocreatine / analysis
  • Rats
  • Rats, Wistar


  • Insulin
  • Methylamines
  • Methylglucosides
  • Phosphocreatine
  • 3-O-Methylglucose
  • Glycogen
  • methylamine
  • Glucose
  • Calcium