We investigated the extent to which increases in glucose utilization indices (GUIs) in individual skeletal muscles during chow re-feeding after 6 h, 24 h or 48 h starvation are related to the antecedent duration of starvation. Chow re-feeding after either acute or prolonged starvation led to an increase in glucose disposal by the muscle mass. Glucose intolerance after prolonged starvation was not associated with lower values of GUI in skeletal muscle. In both working and non-working muscles, the increment in GUI during the first 2 h of re-feeding was less after acute than after prolonged starvation. In non-working muscles the differential responses to re-feeding were due to higher GUI values after re-feeding rather than lower pre-prandial GUI values. Therefore the contribution of non-working muscles to glucose clearance is higher as the antecedent period of starvation is extended. Rates of glycogen deposition in non-working muscles after refeeding were similar to absolute values of GUI, and a strong relationship existed between measured GUI values and rates of glycogen deposition.

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