1. The effects of aging on the sensitivity and responsiveness of glucose transport, lactate formation and glycogen synthesis to insulin were studied in the incubated stripped soleus muscle isolated from aging Sprague-Dawley and Wistar rats. 2. As Sprague-Dawley rats aged from 5 to 13 weeks, there were marked increases in the concentrations of insulin that were required for half-maximal stimulation (i.e. EC50 value, which is a measure of sensitivity) of glucose transport, lactate formation and glycogen synthesis. 3. In marked contrast, there were no alterations in sensitivities of any of these processes to insulin in soleus muscle prepared from Wistar rats aged between 6 and 12 weeks. 4. However, in soleus muscles from 85-week-old Wistar rats the rates of glycogen synthesis in response to basal, sub-maximal and maximal concentrations of insulin were markedly decreased. The insulin EC50 value of glycogen synthesis was increased 4-fold, but was unchanged for lactate formation. 5. The insulin-stimulated rates of glucose transport in soleus muscles from 5- or 85-week-old Wistar rats were not significantly different.

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