The effects of aging, exercise and food restriction on the development of insulin resistance in adipocytes of young rats


Male Sprague-Dawley rats were used to determine whether insulin resistance develops between 1.5-4.0 months of age and whether it is related to aging or the development of obesity. Animals were randomly placed into a single 1.5 months old group (1.5 CN) or raised in one of three 4.0 month old groups; exercise trained (ET), pairfed (PF), or sedentary control (4.0 CN). The ET group was fed ad Iibitum and had free access to a spontaneous exercise wheel, while the PF group was fed to maintain equal body weight with the ET group. The young group was sacrificed with nembutal injection (45 mg/kg body weight) at 1.5 months while the other three groups were sacrificed at 4.0 months of age. Epididymal fat pads were removed, digested with collagenase (5 mg/ml) and the isolated cells sized and assayed for 2-deoxyglucose transport over a range of insulin concentrations (0-1000 µU/ml). Body composition (percent fat, bone and muscle) was performed on the carcasses of these animals at a later date. The 2-deoxyglucose transport of the 1.5 CN group was significantly greater than the 4.0 CN group at insulin concentrations of 50, 250 and 1000 uU/ml and significantly greater than all 4.0 months groups at 1000 11U/ml- The adipocyte size was significantly smaller in the 1.5 CN group followed in ascending order by the ET, PF and 4.0 CN group. The body compositions demonstrated the expected trends as the 1.5 CN group had the highest percent bone and muscle while demonstrating the lowest percent fat. The ET group was most able to maintain the body composition of the 1.5 CN group, while the PF and 4.0 CN groups were least able to maintain this composition respectively.The results indicate that: 1) Adipocyte insulin resistance develops in the rat between 1.5 and 4.0 months of age. 2) This development of insulin resistance is related to obesity and not to aging. 3) Exercise may prevent the development of insulin resistance by preventing adipocyte hypertrophy. 4) Exercise helps maintain optimal body composition. These results should be of interest to type II diabetics as an exercise program may decrease their adipocyte size, enhance body composition and decrease insulin resistance.Thesis (M.A.

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This paper was published in Cardinal Scholar.

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