Synthesis rate of muscle proteins, muscle functions, and amino acid kinetics in type 2 diabetes

Panagiotis Halvatsiotis, Kevin R. Short, Maureen Bigelow, K. Sreekumaran Nair

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

119 Scopus citations


Improvement of glycemic status by insulin is associated with profound changes in amino acid metabolism in type 1 diabetes. In contrast, a dissociation of insulin effect on glucose and amino acid metabolism has been reported in type 2 diabetes. Type 2 diabetic patients are reported to have reduced muscle oxidative enzymes and VO2max. We investigated the effect of 11 days of intensive insulin treatment (T2D+) on whole-body amino acid kinetics, muscle protein synthesis rates, and muscle functions in eight type 2 diabetic subjects after withdrawing all treatments for 2 weeks (T2D-) and compared the results with those of weight-matched lean control subjects using stable isotopes of the amino acids. Whole-body leucine, phenylalanine and tyrosine fluxes, leucine oxidation, and plasma amino acid levels were similar in all groups, although plasma glucose levels were significantly higher in T2D-. Insulin treatment reduced leucine nitrogen flux and transamination rates in subjects with type 2 diabetes. Synthesis rates of muscle mitochondrial, sarcoplasmic, and mixed muscle proteins were not affected by glycemic status or insulin treatment in subjects with type 2 diabetes. Muscle strength was also unaffected by diabetes or glycemic status. In contrast, the diabetic patients showed increased tendency for muscle fatigability. Insulin treatment also failed to stimulate muscle cytochrome C oxidase activity in the diabetic patients, although it modestly elevated citrate synthase. In conclusion, improvement of glycemic status by insulin treatment did not alter whole-body amino acid turnover in type 2 diabetic subjects, but leucine nitrogen flux, transamination rates, and plasma ketoisocaproate level were decreased. Insulin treatments in subjects with type 2 diabetes had no effect on muscle mitochondrial protein synthesis and cytochrome C oxidase, a key enzyme for ATP production.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2395-2404
Number of pages10
Issue number8
StatePublished - 2002

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Internal Medicine
  • Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism


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