High-intensity interval training (HIIT) improves cardiorespiratory fitness (VO2max), but its impact on metabolism remains unclear. We hypothesized that 12-week HIIT increases insulin sensitivity in males with or without type 2 diabetes [T2D and NDM (nondiabetic humans)]. However, despite identically higher VO2max, mainly insulin-resistant (IR) persons (T2D and IR NDM) showed distinct alterations of circulating small extracellular vesicles (SEVs) along with lower inhibitory metabolic (protein kinase Cϵ activity) or inflammatory (nuclear factor κB) signaling in muscle of T2D or IR NDM, respectively. This is related to the specific alterations in SEV proteome reflecting down-regulation of the phospholipase C pathway (T2D) and up-regulated antioxidant capacity (IR NDM). Thus, SEV cargo may contribute to modulating the individual metabolic responsiveness to exercise training in humans.
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