Although the growth-promoting effects of insulin-like growth factor II (IGF-II) have been intensively studied, the acute actions of this hormone on glucose metabolism have been less well evaluated, especially in skeletal muscle of humans. We and other groups have shown that IGFs reduce glycaemic levels in humans and stimulate glucose uptake in rat muscle. The purpose of the present study was to evaluate the effect of IGF-II on glucose transport in muscle of normal and obese patients with and without non-insulin-dependent diabetes mellitus (NIDDM), as well as to identify the receptor responsible for this action. 2-Deoxyglucose transport was determined in vitro using a muscle-fibre strip preparation. IGF-II were investigated in biopsy material of rectus abdominus muscle taken from lean and obese patients and obese patients with NIDDM at the time of surgery. In the lean group, IGF-II (100 nM) stimulated glucose transport 2.1-fold, which was slightly less than stimulation by insulin (2.8-fold) at the same concentration. Binding of IGF-II was approx. 25% of that of insulin at 1 nM concentrations of both hormones. Obesity with or without NIDDM significantly reduced IGF-II-stimulated glucose uptake compared with the lean group. In order to explore which receptor mediated the IGF-II effect, we compared glucose uptake induced by IGF-II and two IGF-II analogues: [Leu27]IGF-II, with high affinity for the IGF-II/Man 6-P receptor but markedly reduced affinity for the IGF-I and insulin receptors, and [Arg54,Arg55]IGF-II was similar to that of IGF-II, whereas [Leu27]IGF-II had a very diminished effect. Results show that IGF-II is capable of stimulating muscle glucose uptake in lean but not in obese subjects and this effect seems not to be mediated via an IGF-II/Man 6-P receptor.

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