Human muscle fiber type specific insulin signaling - Impact of obesity and type 2 diabetes

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Skeletal muscle is a heterogeneous tissue composed of different fiber types. Studies suggest that insulin-mediated glucose metabolism is different between muscle fiber types. We hypothesized that differences are due to fiber-type specific expression/regulation of insulin signaling elements and/or metabolic enzymes. Pools of type I and II fibers were prepared from biopsies of the vastus lateralis muscles from lean, obese and type 2 diabetic subjects before and after a hyperinsulinemic-euglycemic clamp. Type I fibers compared to type II fibers have higher protein levels of the insulin receptor, GLUT4, hexokinase II, glycogen synthase (GS), pyruvate dehydrogenase (PDH-E1α) and a lower protein content of Akt2, TBC1D4 and TBC1D1. In type I fibers compared to type II fibers, the phosphorylation-response to insulin was similar (TBC1D4, TBC1D1 and GS) or decreased (Akt and PDH-E1α). Phosphorylation-responses to insulin adjusted for protein level were not different between fiber types. Independently of fiber type, insulin signaling was similar (TBC1D1, GS and PDH-E1α) or decreased (Akt and TBC1D4) in muscle from patients with type 2 diabetes compared to lean and obese subjects. We conclude that human type I muscle fibers compared to type II fibers have a higher glucose handling capacity but a similar sensitivity for phosphor-regulation by insulin.

Issue number2
Pages (from-to)485-497
StatePublished - 2015