MKR mice have increased dynamic glucose disposal despite metabolic inflexibility, and hepatic and peripheral insulin insensitivity

B. Vaitheesvaran, D. LeRoith, I. J. Kurland

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

22 Scopus citations


Aims/hypothesis Recent work has shown that there can be significant differences when glucose disposal is assessed for high-fat induced insulin resistance by static clamp methods vs dynamic assessment during a stable isotope i.p. glucose tolerance test. MKR mice, though lean, have severe insulin resistance and decreased muscle fatty acid oxidation. Our goal was to assess dynamic vs static glucose disposal in MKR mice, and to correlate glucose disposal and muscle-adipose-liver flux interactions with metabolic flexibility (indirect calorimetry) and muscle characteristics. Methods Stable isotope flux phenotyping was performed using [6,6-2H2]glucose, [U-C6]glucose and [2-C]glycerol. Muscle triacylglycerol (TAG) and diacylglycerol (DAG) content was assessed by thin layer chromatography, and histological determination of fibre type and cytochrome c activity performed. Metabolic flexibility was assessed by indirect calorimetry. Results Indirect calorimetry showed that MKR mice used more glucose than FVB/N mice during fasting (respiratory exchange ratio [RER] 0.88 vs 0.77, respectively). Compared with FVB/N mice, MKR mice had faster dynamic glucose disposal, despite increased whole-muscle DAG and TAG, and similar hepatic glucose production with higher fasting insulin and unchanged basal glucose. Fed MKR muscle had more glycogen, and increased levels of GLUT1 and GLUT4 than FVB/N muscle. Histology indicated that MKR soleus had mildly decreased cytochrome c activity overall and more type II (glycolytic) fibres compared with that in FVB/N mice. Conclusions/ interpretation MKR muscle adapts to using glucose, with more type II fibres present in red muscle. Fasting RER is elevated and glucose disposal during an i.p. glucose tolerance test is accelerated despite increased muscle DAG and TAG. Metabolic inflexibility may result from the compensatory use of fuel that can be best utilised for energy requirements; static vs dynamic glucose disposal assessments may measure complementary aspects of metabolic flexibility and insulin sensitivity.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2224-2232
Number of pages9
Issue number10
StatePublished - Oct 2010


  • Calorimetry
  • Fibre-type
  • Glucose disposal
  • Glycogen
  • Hepatic glucose production
  • Insulin resistance Metabolic flexibility
  • Metabolomics
  • Respiratory exchange ratio
  • Stable isotopes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Internal Medicine
  • Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism


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