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Journal of Diabetes Research
Volume 2016, Article ID 2868652, 33 pages
Review Article

Influence of Acute and Chronic Exercise on Glucose Uptake

1Institute for Clinical Diabetology, German Diabetes Center, Leibniz Center for Diabetes Research, Heinrich Heine University Düsseldorf, 40225 Düsseldorf, Germany
2German Center for Diabetes Research (DZD), Munich, 85764 Neuherberg, Germany
3Department Fitness and Health, University Wuppertal, 42119 Wuppertal, Germany
4Department of Endocrinology and Diabetology, Medical Faculty, Heinrich Heine University Düsseldorf, 40225 Düsseldorf, Germany

Received 23 November 2015; Revised 31 January 2016; Accepted 3 February 2016

Academic Editor: Thomas J. Hawke

Copyright © 2016 Martin Röhling 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.


Insulin resistance plays a key role in the development of type 2 diabetes. It arises from a combination of genetic predisposition and environmental and lifestyle factors including lack of physical exercise and poor nutrition habits. The increased risk of type 2 diabetes is molecularly based on defects in insulin signaling, insulin secretion, and inflammation. The present review aims to give an overview on the molecular mechanisms underlying the uptake of glucose and related signaling pathways after acute and chronic exercise. Physical exercise, as crucial part in the prevention and treatment of diabetes, has marked acute and chronic effects on glucose disposal and related inflammatory signaling pathways. Exercise can stimulate molecular signaling pathways leading to glucose transport into the cell. Furthermore, physical exercise has the potential to modulate inflammatory processes by affecting specific inflammatory signaling pathways which can interfere with signaling pathways of the glucose uptake. The intensity of physical training appears to be the primary determinant of the degree of metabolic improvement modulating the molecular signaling pathways in a dose-response pattern, whereas training modality seems to have a secondary role.