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Glucose turnover in response to exercise during high- and low-FIO2 breathing in man


The purpose of this study was to assess whether breathing high or low concentrations of O2 could affect glucose turnover during exercise in man. Ten healthy subjects performed two constant work-rate exercise tests, one when the fraction of inspired O2 (FIO2) was 0.15 and the other at the same work rate but when the FIO2 was 0.80. The work rate for each subject was chosen so that blood lactate would be elevated during hypoxia, but would be lower during hyperoxia. Glucose appearance (Ra) and disappearance (Rd) were measured using the primed, constant infusion of [3-3H]glucose. Although the work rate was the same during hypoxia and hyperoxia in each subject, hypoxic exercise was accompanied by a significantly larger rest to exercise increase in Rd (delta Rd) compared with hyperoxia by 265%. Similarly, delta Ra was greater during hypoxia than during hyperoxia by 188%. Lactate to pyruvate ratios were significantly higher during hypoxic exercise suggesting a shift in the cell redox to a more reduced state. Insulin and glucagon were not affected by the FIO2, but both epinephrine and norepinephrine were increased during hypoxic exercise, which may explain the increase in Ra. The regulation of blood glucose during exercise in vivo appears to be dependent on the availability of oxygen to the working muscle cells.

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