Impaired overload-induced hypertrophy is associated with diminished mTOR signaling in insulin-resistant skeletal muscle of the obese Zucker rat

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Recent data have suggested that insulin resistance may be associated with a diminished ability of skeletal muscle to undergo hypertrophy (Paturi S, Gutta AK, Kakarla SK, Katta A, Arnold EC, Wu M, Rice KM, Blough ER. J Appl Physiol 108: 7–13, 2010). Here we examine the effects of insulin resistance using the obese Zucker (OZ) rat with increased muscle loading on the regulation of the mammalian target of rapamycin (mTOR) and its downstream signaling intermediates 70-kDa ribosomal protein S6 kinase (p70S6k), ribosomal protein S6 (rpS6), eukaryotic elongation factor 2 (eEF2), and eukaryotic initiation factor 4E-binding protein 1 (4E-BP1). Compared with that observed in lean Zucker (LZ) rats, the degree of soleus muscle hypertrophy as assessed by changes in muscle wet weight (LZ: 35% vs. OZ: 16%) was significantly less in the OZ rats after 3 wk of muscle overload (P < 0.05). This diminished growth in the OZ rats was accompanied by significant impairments in the ability of the soleus to undergo phosphorylation of mTOR (Ser2448), p70S6k (Thr389), rpS6 (Ser235/236), and protein kinase B (Akt) (Ser473 and Thr308) (P < 0.05). Taken together, these data suggest that impaired overload-induced hypertrophy in insulin-resistant skeletal muscle may be related to decreases in the ability of the muscle to undergo mTOR-related signaling.


This article first appeared in the December 2010 issue of American Journal of Physiology-Regulatory, Integrative and Comparative Physiology, the member magazine of the American Physiological Society, and is linked to with permission.

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