Insulin sensitivity and metabolic flexibility following exercise training among different obese insulin-resistant phenotypes

Steven K Malin, Jacob M Haus, Thomas P J Solomon, Alecia Blaszczak, Sangeeta R Kashyap, John P Kirwan

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50 Citations (Scopus)


Impaired fasting glucose (IFG) blunts the reversal of impaired glucose tolerance (IGT) after exercise training. Metabolic inflexibility has been implicated in the etiology of insulin resistance; however, the efficacy of exercise on peripheral and hepatic insulin sensitivity or substrate utilization in adults with IFG, IGT, or IFG + IGT is unknown. Twenty-four older (66.7 ± 0.8 yr) obese (34.2 ± 0.9 kg/m(2)) adults were categorized as IFG (n = 8), IGT (n = 8), or IFG + IGT (n = 8) according to a 75-g oral glucose tolerance test (OGTT). Subjects underwent 12-wk of exercise (60 min/day for 5 days/wk at ∼85% HRmax) and were instructed to maintain a eucaloric diet. A euglycemic hyperinsulinemic clamp (40 mU·m(2)·min(-1)) with [6,6-(2)H]glucose was used to determine peripheral and hepatic insulin sensitivity. Nonoxidative glucose disposal and metabolic flexibility [insulin-stimulated respiratory quotient (RQ) minus fasting RQ] were also assessed. Glucose incremental area under the curve (iAUCOGTT) was calculated from the OGTT. Exercise increased clamp-derived peripheral and hepatic insulin sensitivity more in adults with IFG or IGT alone than with IFG + IGT (P < 0.05). Exercise reduced glucose iAUCOGTT in IGT only (P < 0.05), and the decrease in glucose iAUCOGTT was inversely correlated with the increase in peripheral but not hepatic insulin sensitivity (P < 0.01). Increased clamp-derived peripheral insulin sensitivity was also correlated with enhanced metabolic flexibility, reduced fasting RQ, and higher nonoxidative glucose disposal (P < 0.05). Adults with IFG + IGT had smaller gains in clamp-derived peripheral insulin sensitivity and metabolic flexibility, which was related to blunted improvements in postprandial glucose. Additional work is required to assess the molecular mechanism(s) by which chronic hyperglycemia modifies insulin sensitivity following exercise training.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)E1292-8
JournalAmerican Journal of Physiology: Endocrinology and Metabolism
Issue number10
Publication statusPublished - 15 Nov 2013


  • Aged
  • Blood Glucose
  • Exercise
  • Fasting
  • Female
  • Glucose Intolerance
  • Glucose Tolerance Test
  • Humans
  • Insulin Resistance
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Obesity
  • Phenotype
  • Physical Education and Training
  • Prediabetic State


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