Denervation rapidly (within 24 h) induces insulin resistance of several insulin-responsive pathways in skeletal muscle, including glucose transport; resistance is usually maximal by 3 d. We examined the effect of denervation on the expression of two glucose transporter isoforms (GLUT-1 and GLUT-4) in rat hindlimb muscle; GLUT-4 is the predominant species in muscle. 1 d postdenervation, GLUT-1 and GLUT-4 mRNA and protein concentrations were unchanged. 3 and 7 d postdenervation, GLUT-4 mRNA and protein (per microgram DNA) were decreased by 50%. The minor isoform, GLUT-1 mRNA increased by approximately 500 and approximately 100%, respectively, on days 3 and 7 while GLUT-1 protein increased by approximately 60 and approximately 100%. The data suggest that the insulin resistance of glucose transport early after denervation does not reflect a decrease in total glucose transporter number; however, decreased GLUT-4 expression may contribute to its increased severity after 3 d. Parallel decreases in GLUT-4 mRNA and GLUT-4 protein postdenervation are consistent with pretranslational regulation; GLUT-1 expression may be regulated pre- and posttranslationally. The cell type(s) which overexpress GLUT-1 postdenervation need to be identified. Nervous stimuli and/or contractile activity may modulate the expression of GLUT-1 and GLUT-4 in skeletal muscle tissue.
N E Block, D R Menick, K A Robinson, M G Buse