Published on February 28, 2013 at 10:00 PM
"We believe that even though obese and lean individuals can benefit from exercise, the precise way in which they attain these benefits may not be identical," said Cartee, who directs the Muscle Biology Laboratory. "If we can understand the differences, it will allow us to provide more effective treatments-whether exercise, diet or drug therapy-for everyone."
Most research on insulin resistance and muscle glucose uptake uses average values for glucose uptake by the entire muscle-think of a mechanic trying to understand how a car works without looking under the hood.
Cartee's novel method differs in that he and U-M doctoral student Jim MacKrell developed a way to determine sugar uptake in single cells, called fibers. The team can also classify types of fibers and measure and identify proteins that regulate uptake and metabolism of sugar.
"It's a much better view because we expect that not every kind of fiber will respond the same way to exercise or diet, or even aging," Cartee said.
In this way, they can determine if exercise impacts lean and obese groups equally for each fiber type.
Source: University of Michigan