Stretch-stimulated glucose transport in skeletal muscle is regulated by Rac1

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Alternatives to the canonical insulin signaling pathway for glucose transport are muscle contraction/exercise. Mechanical stress is an integrated part of the muscle contraction/relaxation cycle and passive stretch has been shown to increase muscle glucose transport. However, the signaling mechanism regulating stretch-stimulated glucose transport is not well understood. We recently reported that the actin cytoskeleton regulating GTPase, Rac1 was activated in mouse muscle in response to stretching. Rac1 is a regulator of contraction- and insulin-stimulated glucose transport but its role in stretch-stimulated glucose transport and signaling is unknown. We therefore investigated whether stretch-induced glucose transport in skeletal muscle required Rac1 and the actin cytoskeleton. We used muscle specific inducible Rac1 knockout mice as well as pharmacological inhibitors of Rac1 and the actin cytoskeleton in isolated soleus and EDL muscles. In addition, Rac1's role in contraction-stimulated glucose transport during conditions without mechanical load on the muscles was evaluated in loosely hanging muscles and muscles in which crossbridge formation was blocked by the myosin ATPase inhibitors BTS and Blebbistatin. Knockout as well as pharmacological inhibition of Rac1 reduced stretch-stimulated glucose transport by 30-50% in soleus and EDL muscle. The actin depolymerizing agent, Latrunculin B similarly decreased glucose transport in response to stretching by 40-50%. Rac1 inhibition reduced contraction-stimulated glucose transport by 30-40% in tension developing muscle, but did not affect contraction-stimulated glucose transport in muscles in which force development was prevented. Our findings suggest that Rac1 and the actin cytoskeleton regulate stretch-stimulated glucose transport and that Rac1 is a required part of the mechanical stress-component of the contraction-stimulus to glucose transport in skeletal muscle. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.

TidsskriftJournal of Physiology
Udgave nummer3
Sider (fra-til)645-656
Antal sider12
StatusUdgivet - 2015

Bibliografisk note

CURIS 2015 NEXS 033

ID: 130285947