Muscle and liver glycogen, protein, and triglyceride in the rat: effect of exercise and of the sympatho-adrenal system

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review

We have previously found that during exercise net muscle glycogen breakdown is impaired in adrenodemedullated rats, as compared with controls. The present study was carried out to elucidate whether, in rats with deficiencies of the sympatho-adrenal system, diminished exercise-induced glycogenolysis in skeletal muscle was accompanied by increased breakdown of triglyceride and/or protein. Thus, the effect of exhausting swimming and of running on concentrations of glycogen, protein, and triglyceride in skeletal muscle and liver were studied in rats with and without deficiencies of the sympatho-adrenal system. In control rats, both swimming and running decreased the concentration of glycogen in fast-twitch red and slow-twitch red muscle whereas concentrations of protein and triglyceride did not decrease. In the liver, swimming depleted glycogen stores but protein and triglyceride concentrations did not decrease. In exercising rats, muscle glycogen breakdown was impaired by adrenodemedullation and restored by infusion of epinephrine. However, impaired glycogen breakdown during exercise was not accompanied by a significant net breakdown of protein or triglyceride. Surgical sympathectomy of the muscles did not influence muscle substrate concentrations. The results indicate that when glycogenolysis in exercising muscle is impeded by adrenodemedullation no compensatory increase in breakdown of triglyceride and protein in muscle or liver takes place. Thus, indirect evidence suggests that, in exercising adrenodemedullated rats, fatty acids from adipose tissue were burnt instead of muscle glycogen.

Original languageEnglish
JournalEuropean Journal of Applied Physiology and Occupational Physiology
Issue number3
Pages (from-to)346-350
Number of pages5
Publication statusPublished - 1984

    Research areas

  • Adrenal Medulla, Animals, Glycogen, Liver Glycogen, Male, Muscle Proteins, Muscles, Physical Exertion, Rats, Rats, Inbred Strains, Running, Swimming, Sympathetic Nervous System, Triglycerides

ID: 123666611