Measurement of insulin- and contraction-stimulated glucose uptake in isolated and incubated mature skeletal muscle from mice

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Skeletal muscle is an insulin-responsive tissue and typically takes up most of the glucose that enters the blood after a meal. Moreover, it has been reported that skeletal muscle may increase the extraction of glucose from the blood by up to 50-fold during exercise compared to resting conditions. The increase in muscle glucose uptake during exercise and insulin stimulation is dependent on the translocation of glucose transporter 4 (GLUT4) from intracellular compartments to the muscle cell surface membrane, as well as phosphorylation of glucose to glucose-6-phosphate by hexokinase II. Isolation and incubation of mouse muscles such as m. soleus and m. extensor digitorum longus (EDL) is an appropriate ex vivo model to study the effects of insulin and electrically-induced contraction (a model for exercise) on glucose uptake in mature skeletal muscle. Thus, the ex vivo model permits evaluation of muscle insulin sensitivity and makes it possible to match muscle force production during contraction ensuring uniform recruitment of muscle fibers during measurements of muscle glucose uptake. Moreover, the described model is suitable for pharmacological compound testing that may have an impact on muscle insulin sensitivity or may be of help when trying to delineate the regulatory complexity of skeletal muscle glucose uptake. Here we describe and provide a detailed protocol on how to measure insulin- and contraction-stimulated glucose uptake in isolated and incubated soleus and EDL muscle preparations from mice using radiolabeled [3H]2-deoxy-D-glucose and [14C]mannitol as an extracellular marker. This allows accurate assessment of glucose uptake in mature skeletal muscle in the absence of confounding factors that may interfere in the intact animal model. In addition, we provide information on metabolic viability of incubated mouse skeletal muscle suggesting that the method applied possesses some caveats under certain conditions when studying muscle energy metabolism.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere61398
JournalJournal of Visualized Experiments
Issue number171
Number of pages22
Publication statusPublished - 2021

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