Exercise training results not only in enhanced insulin sensitivity but also in a reduction in insulin secretion. In this study, we examined the effects of exercise training on the expression of genes potentially related to insulin synthesis and glucose-stimulated insulin release by measuring pancreatic islet proinsulin, glucose-transporter (GLUT2), and glucokinase mRNAs. Female Wistar rats were subjected to 100 min of running at 25 m · min−1 up a 15% incline for 90 min/day for 6 days/wk for 3 wk. Pancreatic mRNA was evaluated by Northern- and dot-blot analysis with [32P]cRNA probes. We found no change in the pancreatic content of GLUT2 mRNA but found marked decreases in the content of proinsulin mRNA (78%, P < 0.005) and glucokinase mRNA (65%, P < 0.001). These results suggest that exercise modulates both islet glucose metabolism and insulin synthesis at the level of gene expression. Furthermore, there was a significant correlation between the decreases in glucokinase and proinsulin mRNA concentrations (r = 0.95, P < 0.001), suggesting that expression of these genes is regulated in parallel.

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