Substantial working muscle glycerol turnover during two-legged cycle ergometry

Gareth A. Wallis, Anne L. Friedlander, Kevin A. Jacobs, Michael A. Horning, Jill A. Fattor, Eugene E. Wolfel, Gary D. Lopaschuk, George A. Brooks

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


We combined tracer and arteriovenous (a-v) balance techniques to evaluate the effects of exercise and endurance training on leg triacylglyceride turnover as assessed by glycerol exchange. Measurements on an exercising leg were taken to be a surrogate for working skeletal muscle. Eight men completed 9 wk of endurance training [5 days/wk, 1 h/day, 75% peak oxygen consumption (V̇O2peak)], with leg glycerol turnover determined during two pretraining trials [45 and 65% V̇O2peak (45% Pre and 65% Pre, respectively)] and two posttraining trials [65% of pretraining V̇O 2peak (ABT) and 65% of posttraining V̇O2peak (RLT)] using [2H5]glycerol infusion, femoral a-v sampling, and measurement of leg blood flow. Endurance training increased V̇ O2peak by 15% (45.2 ± 1.2 to 52.0 ± 1.8 ml·kg-1·min-1, P < 0.05). At rest, there was tracer-measured leg glycerol uptake (41 ± 8 and 52 ± 15 μmol/min for pre- and posttraining, respectively) even in the presence of small, but significant, net leg glycerol release (-68 ± 19 and -50 ± 13 μmol/min, respectively; P < 0.05 vs. zero). Furthermore, while there was no significant net leg glycerol exchange during any of the exercise bouts, there was substantial tracer-measured leg glycerol turnover during exercise (i.e., simultaneous leg muscle uptake and leg release) (uptake, release: 45% Pre, 194 ± 41, 214 ± 33; 65% Pre, 217 ± 79, 201 ± 84; ABT, 275 ± 76, 312 ± 87; RLT, 282 ± 83, 424 ± 75 μmol/min; all P < 0.05 vs. corresponding rest). Leg glycerol turnover was unaffected by exercise intensity or endurance training. In summary, simultaneous leg glycerol uptake and release (indicative of leg triacylglyceride turnover) occurs despite small or negligible net leg glycerol exchange, and furthermore, leg glycerol turnover can be substantially augmented during exercise.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)E950-E957
JournalAmerican Journal of Physiology - Endocrinology and Metabolism
Issue number4
StatePublished - Oct 2007


  • Crossover concept
  • Exercise
  • Lipid metabolism
  • Stable isotopes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physiology
  • Endocrinology
  • Biochemistry


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