Increased concentration of tracee affects estimates of muscle protein synthesis

Giuseppe Caso, G. Charles Ford, K. Sreekumaran Nair, James A. Vosswinkel, Peter J. Garlick, Margaret A. McNurlan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

22 Scopus citations


Muscle protein synthesis was measured by infusion of L-[2H5]phenylalanine in two groups of anesthetized dogs, before and during infusion of insulin with euaminoacidemia, and with differing concentrations of unlabeled phenylalanine (tracee). With the infusion of insulin, muscle protein synthesis increased 39 ± 12% based on phenylalanyl-tRNA. Calculation with plasma phenylalanine enrichment overestimated insulin stimulation by 40% (56 ± 12 vs. 39 ± 12%). Raising the concentration of plasma phenylalanine twofold during infusion of insulin further increased the apparent stimulation of muscle protein synthesis based on plasma relative to phenylalanyl-tRNA by 225% (65 ± 19 vs. 20 ± 14%, P < 0.001). In both experiments, the stimulation of synthesis rates calculated from phenylalanine enrichment within the muscle was closer to that from phenylalanyl-tRNA (48 ± 19%, experiment 1; 30 ± 14%, experiment 2). Results indicate that the enrichment of a labeled amino acid within plasma and tissue amino acid pools is affected by the concentration of tracee infused. Increasing the concentration of tracee overestimates the insulin-mediated stimulation of muscle protein synthesis when amino acid pools other than aminoacyl-tRNA are used as the precursor enrichment.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)E937-E946
JournalAmerican Journal of Physiology - Endocrinology and Metabolism
Issue number6 43-6
StatePublished - 2001


  • Amino acids
  • Aminoacyl-tRNA
  • Insulin
  • L-[H]phenylalanine

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Medicine


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