Published March 1, 1986 - More info
Splanchnic and peripheral exchange of glucose and gluconeogenic substrates was examined in 12 healthy subjects during 2 h of arm or leg exercise on a bicycle ergometer and during a 40-min postexercise recovery period. The work intensity corresponded to 30% of the maximal pulmonary oxygen uptake. The regional exchange of substrates was evaluated using catheter technique and indicator dilution methods for blood flow measurements. Our findings indicate that prolonged arm exercise as compared with exercise with the legs results in a greater increase in heart rate (25-40%) and a more marked reduction in splanchnic blood flow (10-30%) as well as higher arterial concentrations of lactate, free fatty acids, and catecholamines. The respiratory exchange ratio was consistently higher with arm exercise. In addition, arm exercise results in a greater fractional extraction and utilization of glucose by exercising muscle as well as a greater hepatic gluconeogenesis from lactate and glycerol. During recovery from prolonged arm exercise, leg muscle becomes an important site of lactate release to the splanchnic bed, despite a lack of net glucose uptake by the leg. Simultaneously, arm muscle shows an increase in glucose uptake in the absence of a net release of lactate. These coincident but discordant processes in the leg and arm during recovery suggest the occurrence of a redistribution of muscle glycogen from previously resting (leg) muscle to previously exercising (arm) muscle.