Author(s): Banzet S, Koulmann N, Simler N, Sanchez H, Chapot R,
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Abstract Prolonged intense exercise is challenging for the liver to maintain plasma glucose levels. Hormonal changes cannot fully account for exercise-induced hepatic glucose production (HGP). Contracting skeletal muscles release interleukin-6 (IL-6), a cytokine able to increase endogenous glucose production during exercise. However, whether this is attributable to a direct effect of IL-6 on liver remains unknown. Here, we studied hepatic glycogen, gluconeogenic genes, and IL-6 signaling in response to one bout of exhaustive running exercise in rats. To determine whether IL-6 can modulate gluconeogenic gene mRNA independently of exercise, we injected resting rats with recombinant IL-6. Exhaustive exercise resulted in a profound decrease in liver glycogen and an increase in gluconeogenic gene mRNA levels, phosphoenolpyruvate-carboxykinase (PEPCK), glucose-6-phosphatase (G6P), and peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor-gamma coactivator-1alpha (PGC-1alpha), suggesting a key role for gluconeogenesis in hepatic glucose production. This was associated to an active IL-6 signaling in liver tissue, as shown by signal transducer and activator of transcription and CAAT/enhancer binding protein-beta phosphorylation and IL-6-responsive gene mRNA levels at the end of exercise. Recombinant IL-6 injection resulted in an increase in IL-6-responsive gene mRNA levels in the liver. We found a dose-dependent increase in PEPCK gene mRNA strongly correlated with IL-6-induced gene mRNA levels. No changes in G6P and PGC-1alpha mRNA levels were found. Taken together, our results suggest that, during very demanding exercise, muscle-derived IL-6 could help increase HGP by directly upregulating PEPCK mRNA abundance.
This article was published in J Appl Physiol (1985)
and referenced in Endocrinology & Metabolic Syndrome