One of the hallmarks of insulin resistance is a reduction in glucose transporter-4 (Glut-4) expression in adipose tissue but not in skeletal muscle. However, while Glut-4 has been demonstrated in skeletal and cardiac muscles in horses it has not been demonstrated in adipose tissue. The initial objectives of the present study were: (1) to test the hypothesis that Glut-4 expression would vary between selected key skeletal muscles; (2) to test the hypothesis that it would also vary between representative adipose tissue depots, and (3) to see whether expression would be greater in adipose tissue compared to muscle. Glut-4 expression was determined by Western blot using samples obtained from post mortem biopsies obtained from four muscles (gluteus medius, semitendinosus, heart, and diaphragm), and four adipose tissues (subcutaneous, retroperitoneal, mesenteric, and omental) in three horses. There were no differences (P > 0.05) in Glut-4 protein expression between the muscles sampled. Likewise there were no differences (P > 0.05) in Glut-4 protein expression between fat depots. There was a significant difference (P = 0.03) when pooled means for Glut-4 expression in muscle (58.8 ± 2.5 densitometry units) were compared with adipose tissue (115.8 ± 15.7). This difference in Glut-4 expression in these two tissues with distinctly different metabolic reasons for taking up glucose may warrant further investigation to see if there are more pronounced differences in Glut-4 expression in muscle and adipose tissue in various populations of horses.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Animal Science and Zoology
- Body composition
- Glucose metabolism
- Insulin sensitivity