Response of protein synthesis in human skeletal muscle to insulin: an investigation with L-[2H5]phenylalanine

M A McNurlan, P Essén, A Thorell, Alexander Graham Calder, Eileen Anderson, O Ljungqvist, A Sandgren, I Grant, I Tjäder, P E Ballmer

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The role of insulin in the regulation of muscle protein synthesis in adult humans has been investigated with intravenous infusion of insulin at levels comparable with those observed after normal feeding. Glucose was also infused to maintain euglycemia. Muscle protein synthesis was measured in six healthy subjects before and during insulin and glucose infusion from the incorporation of L-[2H5]phenylalanine into the protein of vastus lateralis sampled by percutaneous biopsy. L-[2H5]phenylalanine was given as a single injection of a flooding amount (45 mg/kg). The relatively low levels of enrichment of phenylalanine in protein (0.005 atom%) were measured by modified gas chromatography-mass spectrometry and verified by comparison with incorporation of L-[2,6-3H]phenylalanine. Similarity of enrichment in tissue-free and plasma pools (flooding) and linear incorporation over the period of measurement were also verified. The fractional rate of muscle protein synthesis in the group of postabsorptive subjects was 1.65 +/- 0.11% (SE)/day. The rate was unaltered by insulin and glucose infusion, 1.66 +/- 0.16%/day.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)E102-108
Number of pages7
JournalAmerican Journal of Physiology: Endocrinology and Metabolism
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jul 1994


  • Adult
  • Animals
  • Deuterium
  • Gas Chromatography-Mass Spectrometry
  • Glucose Clamp Technique
  • Humans
  • Insulin
  • Male
  • Muscle Proteins
  • Muscles
  • Phenylalanine
  • Rats
  • Tritium


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