Effects of estrogen on glucose uptake by rat muscle

H. Shamoon, P. Felig

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

22 Scopus citations


The isolated rat diaphragm was used to study the effects of 17β estradiol on basal and insulin mediated glucose uptake. Rats were injected with estradiol for 2 wk in daily doses of 10 μg/100 g of body weight and were compared to untreated control animals. Estrogen treatment resulted in a 16% decrease in basal glucose uptake by diaphragm muscle as compared to controls. In contrast, in the presence of insulin, glucose uptake by muscle increased 103% above basal in estradiol treated animals as compared to a 38% rise in the control group. The absolute rate of glucose uptake induced by insulin in the estradiol treated animals (5.8 mg/g/hr) was 22% higher than in controls. These findings were not accompanied by changes in weight gain, plasma glucose and plasma immunoreactive insulin concentrations in the treated animals. In vitro incubation of diaphragm muscle with estradiol did not have an effect on basal or insulin mediated glucose uptake. The data indicate that treatment with naturally occurring estrogens increases muscle sensitivity to insulin stimulated glucose uptake. These findings suggest that the carbohydrate intolerance associated with the administration of oral contraceptives may be related to the use of synthetic rather than natural estrogens and/or progestins in such preparations.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)227-233
Number of pages7
JournalYale Journal of Biology and Medicine
Issue number4
StatePublished - Dec 1 1974
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)

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