Calorie restriction (CR), even for brief periods (4-20 days), results in increased whole-body insulin sensitivity, in large part due to enhanced insulin-stimulated glucose transport by skeletal muscle. Evidence suggests that the cellular alterations leading to this effect are postreceptor steps in insulin signaling. To determine whether insulin receptor substrate (IRS)-1 is essential for the insulin-sensitizing effect of CR, we measured in vitro 2-deoxyglucose (2DG) uptake in the presence and absence of insulin by skeletal muscle isolated from wild-type (WT) mice and transgenic mice lacking IRS-1 (knockout [KO]) after either ad libitum (AL) feeding or 20 days of CR (60% of ad libitum intake). Three muscles (soleus, extensor digitorum longus [EDL], and epitrochlearis) from male and female mice (4.5-6 months old) were studied. In each muscle, insulin-stimulated 2DG uptake was not different between genotypes. For EDL and epitrochlearis, insulin-stimulated 2DG uptake was greater in CR compared to AL groups, regardless of sex. Soleus insulin-stimulated 2DG uptake was greater in CR compared with AL in males but not females. The diet effect on 2DG uptake was not different for WT and KO animals. Genotype also did not alter the CR-induced decrease in plasma constituents (glucose, insulin, and leptin) or body composition (body weight, fat pad/body weight ratio). Consistent with previous studies in rats, IRS-1 protein expression in muscle was reduced in WT-CR compared with WT-AL mice, and muscle IRS-2 abundance was unchanged by diet. Skeletal muscle IRS-2 protein expression was significantly lower in WT compared with KO mice. These data demonstrate that IRS-1 is not essential for the CR-induced increase in insulin-stimulated glucose transport in skeletal muscle, and the absence of IRS-1 does not modify any of the characteristic adaptations of CR that were evaluated.

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