Nitric oxide is produced within skeletal muscle fibres and has various functions in skeletal muscle. There is evidence that NO may be essential for normal increases in skeletal muscle glucose uptake during contraction/exercise. Although there have been some discrepant results, it has been consistently demonstrated that inhibition of NO synthase (NOS) attenuates the increase in skeletal muscle glucose uptake during contraction in mouse and rat muscle ex vivo, during in situ contraction in rats and during exercise in humans. The NO-mediated increase in skeletal muscle glucose uptake during contraction/exercise is probably due to the modulation of intramuscular signalling that ultimately increases glucose transporter 4 (GLUT4) translocation and is, surprisingly, independent of blood flow. In this review, we discuss the evidence for and against a role of NO in regulating skeletal muscle glucose uptake during contraction/exercise and outline the possible mechanism(s) involved. Emerging findings regarding the role of neuronal NOS mu (nNOSμ) in this process are also discussed.
* Title and MeSH Headings from MEDLINE®/PubMed®, a database of the U.S. National Library of Medicine.