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Experimental Diabetes Research
Volume 2009, Article ID 737686, 6 pages
Research Article

Skeletal Muscle Sorbitol Levels in Diabetic Rats with and without Insulin Therapy and Endurance Exercise Training

1Division of Pathophysiology, Department of Physiological Sciences, School of Medicine, Universidad de Oriente, Cd Bolivar 8001, Edo Bolivar, Venezuela
2Department of Radiology and Radiological Sciences, Vanderbilt University, Nashville, TN 37240, USA
3Department of Pharmacology, University of Minnesota Medical School, Minneapolis, MN 55455, USA
4Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, University of Minnesota Medical School, Minneapolis, MN 55455, USA
5Laboratory of Physiological Hygiene and Exercise Science, School of Kinesiology, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, MN 55455, USA

Received 28 January 2009; Revised 23 August 2009; Accepted 6 September 2009

Academic Editor: Bernard Portha

Copyright © 2009 O. A. Sánchez et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Sorbitol accumulation is postulated to play a role in skeletal muscle dysfunction associated with diabetes. The purpose of this study was to determine the effects of insulin and of endurance exercise on skeletal muscle sorbitol levels in streptozotocin-induced diabetic rats. Rats were assigned to one of five experimental groups (control sedentary, control exercise, diabetic sedentary, diabetic exercise, diabetic sedentary no-insulin). Diabetic rats received daily subcutaneous insulin. The exercise-trained rats ran on a treadmill (1 hour, 5X/wk, for 12 weeks). Skeletal muscle sorbitol levels were the highest in the diabetic sedentary no-insulin group. Diabetic sedentary rats receiving insulin had similar sorbitol levels to control sedentary rats. Endurance exercise did not significantly affect sorbitol levels. These results indicate that insulin treatment lowers sorbitol in skeletal muscle; therefore sorbitol accumulation is probably not related to muscle dysfunction in insulin-treated diabetic individuals. Endurance exercise did not influence intramuscular sorbitol values as strongly as insulin.