The impact of forearm immobilization and acipimox administration on muscle amino acid metabolism and insulin sensitivity in healthy, young volunteers

Marlou L. Dirks*, Tom S.O. Jameson, Rob C. Andrews, Mandy V. Dunlop, Doaa R. Abdelrahman, Andrew J. Murton, Benjamin T. Wall, Francis B. Stephens

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

Abstract

Although the mechanisms underpinning short-term muscle disuse atrophy and associated insulin resistance remain to be elucidated, perturbed lipid metabolism might be involved. Our aim was to determine the impact of acipimox administration [i.e., pharmacologically lowering circulating nonesterified fatty acid (NEFA) availability] on muscle amino acid metabolism and insulin sensitivity during short-term disuse. Eighteen healthy individuals (age: 22 ± 1 years; body mass index: 24.0 ± 0.6 kg·m-2) underwent 2 days forearm immobilization with placebo (PLA; n = 9) or acipimox (ACI; 250 mg Olbetam; n = 9) ingestion four times daily. Before and after immobilization, whole body glucose disposal rate (GDR), forearm glucose uptake (FGU; i.e., muscle insulin sensitivity), and amino acid kinetics were measured under fasting and hyperinsulinemic-hyperaminoacidemic-euglycemic clamp conditions using forearm balance and l-[ring-2H5]-phenylalanine infusions. Immobilization did not affect GDR but decreased insulin-stimulated FGU in both groups, more so in ACI (from 53 ± 8 to 12 ± 5 µmol·min-1) than PLA (from 52 ± 8 to 38 ± 13 µmol·min-1; P < 0.05). In ACI only, and in contrast to our hypothesis, fasting arterialized NEFA concentrations were elevated to 1.3 ± 0.1 mmol·L-1 postimmobilization (P < 0.05), and fasting forearm NEFA balance increased approximately fourfold (P = 0.10). Forearm phenylalanine net balance decreased following immobilization (P < 0.10), driven by an increased rate of appearance [from 32 ± 5 (fasting) and 21 ± 4 (clamp) preimmobilization to 53 ± 8 and 31 ± 4 postimmobilization; P < 0.05] while the rate of disappearance was unaffected by disuse or acipimox. Disuse-induced insulin resistance is accompanied by early signs of negative net muscle amino acid balance, which is driven by accelerated muscle amino acid efflux. Acutely elevated NEFA availability worsened muscle insulin resistance without affecting amino acid kinetics, suggesting increased muscle NEFA uptake may contribute to inactivity-induced insulin resistance but does not cause anabolic resistance.NEW & NOTEWORTHY We demonstrate that 2 days of forearm cast immobilization in healthy young volunteers leads to the rapid development of insulin resistance, which is accompanied by accelerated muscle amino acid efflux in the absence of impaired muscle amino acid uptake. Acutely elevated fasting nonesterified fatty acid (NEFA) availability as a result of acipimox supplementation worsened muscle insulin resistance without affecting amino acid kinetics, suggesting increased muscle NEFA uptake may contribute to inactivity-induced insulin resistance but does not cause anabolic resistance.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)E277-E289
JournalAmerican Journal of Physiology. Endocrinology and Metabolism
Volume326
Issue number3
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2024

Keywords

  • amino acid kinetics
  • anabolic resistance
  • disuse atrophy
  • insulin sensitivity
  • lipid
  • skeletal muscle

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