Effects of muscle activity and fiber composition on glucose transport and GLUT-4

Am J Physiol. 1993 Apr;264(4 Pt 1):E583-93. doi: 10.1152/ajpendo.1993.264.4.E583.


We examined glucose uptake and GLUT-4 in rat muscles [soleus (Sol), plantaris (PL), extensor digitorum longus (EDL), tibialis anterior, and the red and white gastrocnemius (WG)]. In the normally innervated perfused rat hindlimb muscles the proportion of oxidative fibers was highly correlated with the muscle's insulin-stimulated 3-O-methyl-D-glucose (3-MG) uptake (R2 = 0.78) and GLUT-4 content (r = 0.94). Insulin-stimulated 3-MG uptake and GLUT-4 were also highly correlated (R2 = 0.996). In 3-day denervated muscles, insulin-stimulated 3-MG uptake was reduced in all six muscles (-41 to -14.6%, P < 0.05), and GLUT-4 content was also reduced (-87.5 to -34.9%), except in the WG and EDL (P > 0.05). A very high correlation was observed between the decrements in GLUT-4 (%) and the decrements in 3-MG uptake (%; r = 0.99). The relatively greater loss in muscle activity (%) due to denervation in the Sol compared with the PL coincided with the reductions (%) in GLUT-4 and 3-MG uptake. These studies demonstrate that glucose uptake and GLUT-4 are regulated by insulin-independent means, namely the oxidative capacity of the muscle and the normal activity level of the muscle.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • 3-O-Methylglucose
  • Animals
  • Darkness
  • Electrophoresis, Polyacrylamide Gel
  • Hindlimb
  • Insulin / pharmacology*
  • Kinetics
  • Light
  • Male
  • Methylglucosides / metabolism*
  • Molecular Weight
  • Monosaccharide Transport Proteins / isolation & purification
  • Monosaccharide Transport Proteins / metabolism*
  • Muscle Contraction
  • Muscle Denervation*
  • Muscles / drug effects
  • Muscles / metabolism
  • Muscles / physiology*
  • Organ Specificity
  • Physical Exertion
  • Rats
  • Rats, Sprague-Dawley
  • Reference Values


  • Insulin
  • Methylglucosides
  • Monosaccharide Transport Proteins
  • 3-O-Methylglucose