Both exercise training and dietary manipulation (increasing ω-3/ω-6 fat ratio) can ameliorate insulin resistance caused by a high-fat diet in rats. We determined whether alterations in the expression of the insulin-regulatable (IR) and/or HepG2 glucose-transporter (GT) mRNAs were similarly affected. There was a significantly higher level of IRGT mRNA in skeletal muscle from exercise-trained versus sedentary high-fat–fed rats (27% increase, P < 0.01). This difference is consistent with previously reported increases in muscle insulin-mediated glucose uptake. Skeletal muscle HepG2GT mRNA was too low to detect any training effect, but there was a tendency toward higher levels with training in cardiac muscle. In contrast, dietary manipulation, previously shown to lead to a much greater increase (100–300%) in muscle insulin-mediated glucose uptake, did not change IRGT or HepG2GT mRNA in skeletal muscle or heart. Thus, both dietary manipulation and exercise training increase insulin-stimulated glucose uptake in skeletal muscle, but only exercise training increases IRGT mRNA. Therefore, exercise training apparently increases GT production, whereas dietary manipulation improves glucose transport in skeletal muscle by other mechanisms.

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