Voluntary wheel running (WR) by juvenile female rats was used as a noninterventional model of soleus muscle functional overload to study the regulation of insulin-stimulated glucose transport activity by the glucose transporter (GLUT-4 isoform) protein level and glycogen concentration. Soleus total protein content was significantly greater (+18%; P < 0.05) than in age-matched controls after 1 wk of WR, and this hypertrophic response continued in weeks 2–4 (+24–32%). GLUT-4 protein was 39% greater than in controls in 1-wk WR soleus, and this adaptation was accompanied by a similar increase in in vitro insulin-stimulated glucose transport activity (+29%). After 2 and 4 wk of WR, however, insulin-stimulated glucose transport activity had returned to control levels, despite a continued elevation (+25–28%) of GLUT-4 protein. At these two time points, glycogen concentration was significantly enhanced in WR soleus (+21–42%), which coincided with significant reductions in glycogen synthase activity ratios (-23 to -41%). These results indicate that, in this model of soleus muscle functional overload, the GLUT-4 protein level may initially regulate insulin-stimulated glucose transport activity in the absence of changes in other modifying factors. However, this regulation of glucose transport activity by GLUT-4 protein may be subsequently overridden by elevated glycogen concentration.
- Copyright © 1994 the American Physiological Society