Glycolysis is independent of oxygenation state in stimulated human skeletal muscle in vivo

J Physiol. 1998 Sep 15;511 ( Pt 3)(Pt 3):935-45. doi: 10.1111/j.1469-7793.1998.935bg.x.


1. We tested the hypothesis that the cytoplasmic control mechanism for glycolysis is affected by the presence of oxygen during exercise. We used a comparison of maximal twitch stimulation under ischaemic and intact circulation in human wrist flexor and ankle dorsiflexor muscles. 31P magnetic resonance spectroscopy followed the phosphocreatine (PCr), Pi and pH dynamics at 6-9 s intervals. Glycolytic PCr synthesis was determined during stimulation from pH and tissue buffer capacity, as well as the oxidative phosphorylation rate. 2. Ischaemic vs. aerobic stimulation resulted in similar glycolytic fluxes in the two muscles. The onset of glycolysis occured after fifty to seventy stimulations and the extent of glycolytic PCr synthesis was directly proportional to the number of stimulations thereafter. 3. Two-fold differences in the putative feedback regulators of glycolysis, [Pi] and [ADP], were found between aerobic and ischaemic stimulation. The similar glycolytic fluxes in the face of these differences in metabolite levels eliminates feedback as a control mechanism in glycolysis. 4. These results demonstrate that glycolytic flux is independent of oxygenation state and metabolic feedback, but proportional to muscle activation. These results show a key role for muscle stimulation in the activation and maintenance of glycolysis. Further, this glycolytic control mechanism is independent of the feedback control mechanism that governs oxidative phosphorylation.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Adenosine Triphosphate / metabolism
  • Adult
  • Energy Metabolism / physiology
  • Female
  • Glycolysis / physiology*
  • Humans
  • Hydrogen-Ion Concentration
  • Ischemia / metabolism
  • Magnetic Resonance Spectroscopy
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Muscle Contraction / physiology*
  • Muscle, Skeletal / metabolism*
  • Oxidative Phosphorylation
  • Oxygen Consumption / physiology
  • Protons
  • Wrist Joint / physiology


  • Protons
  • Adenosine Triphosphate