The purpose of this study was to determine the metabolic function of the marked increase in plasma epinephrine which occurs in fasted rats during treadmill exercise. Fasted adrenodemedullated (ADM) and sham-operated (SHAM) rats were run on a rodent treadmill (21 m/min, 15% grade) for 30 min or until exhaustion. ADM rats were infused with saline, epinephrine, glucose, or lactate during the exercise bouts. ADM saline-infused rats showed markedly reduced endurance, hypoglycemia, elevated plasma insulin, reduced blood lactate, and reduced muscle glycogenolysis compared with exercising SHAM's. Epinephrine infusion corrected all deficiencies. Glucose infusion restored endurance run times and blood glucose to normal without correcting the deficiencies in blood lactate and muscle glycogenolysis. Infusion of lactate partially corrected the hypoglycemia at 30 min of exercise, but endurance was not restored to normal and rats were hypoglycemic at exhaustion. We conclude that in the fasted exercising rat, actions of epinephrine in addition to provision of gluconeogenic substrate are essential for preventing hypoglycemia and allowing the rat to run for long periods of time.
- Copyright © 1987 the American Physiological Society