Intrinsic High Aerobic Capacity in Male Rats Protects Against Diet-Induced Insulin Resistance Article (Faculty180)

cited authors

  • Morris, E M; Meers, Grace M E; Ruegsegger, Gregory N; Wankhade, Umesh D; Robinson, Tommy; Koch, Lauren G; Britton, Steven L; Rector, R S; Shankar, Kartik; Thyfault, John P


  • Low aerobic capacity increases the risk for insulin resistance but the mechanisms are unknown. In this study, we tested susceptibility to acute (3-day) high-fat, high-sucrose diet (HFD)-induced insulin resistance in male rats selectively bred for divergent intrinsic aerobic capacity, that is, high-capacity running (HCR) and low-capacity running (LCR) rats. We employed hyperinsulinemic-euglycemic clamps, tracers, and transcriptome sequencing of skeletal muscle to test whether divergence in aerobic capacity impacted insulin resistance through systemic and tissue-specific metabolic adaptations. An HFD evoked decreased insulin sensitivity and insulin signaling in muscle and liver in LCR rats, whereas HCR rats were protected. An HFD led to increased glucose transport in skeletal muscle (twofold) of HCR rats while increasing glucose transport into adipose depots of the LCR rats (twofold). Skeletal muscle transcriptome revealed robust differences in the gene profile of HCR vs LCR on low-fat diet and HFD conditions, including robust differences in specific genes involved in lipid metabolism, adipogenesis, and differentiation. HCR transcriptional adaptations to an acute HFD were more robust than for LCR and included genes driving mitochondrial energy metabolism. In conclusion, intrinsic aerobic capacity robustly impacts systemic and skeletal muscle adaptations to HFD-induced alterations in insulin resistance, an effect that is likely driven by baseline differences in oxidative capacity, gene expression profile, and transcriptional adaptations to an HFD.

publication date

  • 2019

published in

start page

  • 1179

end page

  • 1192


  • 160