The half-maximal stimulation of the rates of glycolysis and glycogen synthesis in soleus-muscle strips from sedentary animals occurred at a concentration of insulin of about 100 microunits/ml. In soleus-muscle strips from exercise-trained rats (5 weeks of treadmill training), half-maximal stimulation of the rate of glycolysis occurred at about 10 microunits of insulin/ml, whereas that for glycogen synthesis occurred between 10 and 100 microunits of insulin/ml. The sensitivity of glycolysis to insulin after exercise training is similar to that of adipose tissue from sedentary animals. This finding suggests that, in sedentary animals, the effects of normal changes in insulin concentration may affect muscle primarily indirectly via the anti-lipolytic effect on adipose tissue, whereas after training insulin may effect the rate of glycolysis in muscle directly. A single period of exercise did not change the sensitivity of glycolysis in soleus muscle to insulin, nor probably that of glycogen synthesis. It is suggested that the improvement in insulin sensitivity of glycolysis in muscle caused by exercise-training could account, in part, for the well-established improvement in glucose tolerance and insulin sensitivity observed in man and rats after exercise-training.

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