IL-6 Increases Glucose Metabolism in Muscle

Interleukin-6 modifies insulin sensitivity and levels increase after exercise

TUESDAY, June 19 (HealthDay News) -- Interleukin-6 (IL-6), a cytokine that modifies insulin sensitivity and whose levels increase in insulin resistance and after exercise, increases glucose metabolism in human skeletal muscle, researchers report in the June issue of Diabetes.

Anna Krook, Ph.D., from the Karolinska Institute in Stockholm, Sweden, and colleagues examined glucose transport and signal transduction in vastus lateralis muscle biopsies from 22 men after treatment with IL-6.

The researchers found that IL-6 significantly increased glucose transport (1.3-fold), glucose incorporation into glycogen (1.5-fold), and glucose oxidation (1.3-fold). IL-6 also affected the phosphorylation of various proteins involved in signal transduction.

"In conclusion, acute IL-6 exposure increases glucose metabolism in resting human skeletal muscle," Krook and colleagues conclude. "Insulin-stimulated glucose transport and insulin signaling were unchanged after IL-6 exposure."

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