Effects of one-legged high-intensity interval training on insulin-mediated skeletal muscle glucose homeostasis in patients with type 2 diabetes

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Flemming Dela, Arthur Ingersen, Nynne Bjerre Andersen, Maria Booth Nielsen, Helga Huld Halldórsdóttir Petersen, Christina Neigaard Hansen, Steen Larsen, Jørgen Wojtaszewski, Jørn Wulff Helge

Aim: To examine the effect of high-intensity interval training (HIIT) on glucose clearance rates in skeletal muscle and explore the mechanism within the muscle.

Methods: Ten males with type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM) and ten matched healthy subjects performed 2 weeks of one-legged HIIT (total of eight sessions, each comprised of 10 x 1 min ergometer bicycle exercise at > 80% of maximal heart rate, interspersed with one min of rest). Insulin sensitivity was assessed by an isoglycemic, hyperinsulinemic clamp combined with arterio-venous leg balance technique of the trained (T) and the untrained (UT) leg and muscle biopsies of both legs.

Results: Insulin stimulated glucose clearance in T legs were ~30% higher compared with UT legs in both groups due to increased blood flow in T vs. UT legs and maintained glucose extraction. With each training session muscle glycogen content decreased only in the training leg and after the training glycogen synthase and citrate synthase activities were higher in T vs. UT legs. No major changes occurred in the expression of proteins in the insulin signaling cascade. Mitochondrial respiratory capacity was similar in T2DM and healthy subjects, and unchanged by HIIT.

Conclusion: HIIT improves skeletal muscle insulin sensitivity. With HIIT, the skeletal muscle of patients with T2DM becomes just as insulin sensitive as untrained muscle in healthy subjects. The mechanism include oscillations in muscle glycogen stores and a maintained ability to extract glucose from the blood in the face of increased blood flow in the trained leg.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere13245
JournalActa Physiologica (Print)
Volume226
Issue number2
Number of pages18
ISSN1748-1708
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2019

    Research areas

  • The Faculty of Science - Diabetes mellitus, Glucose metabolism, Leg balance, Overweight, High-intensity interval training (HIIT)

ID: 210788605