How Does Exercise Really Increase Muscle Glucose Uptake?

January 29, 2020

Associate Research Fellow Carol Witczak, one of the newest members of the Indiana Biosciences Research Institute’s (IBRI) Diabetes Center says, “Yes, but the real question is which facilitative glucose transporter (GLUT) will make the biggest difference?”

To know why this is such an important question for Witczak, you first need to know a little about her. Witczak ran cross country and track – primarily 5K and 10K – at Colgate University in Hamilton, NY. It was running that got her interested in the cardiovascular system. Believe it or not, one of her early research projects involved running pigs on a treadmill.

Now, in her lab at the IBRI she is no longer working with pigs, but mice. She is focused on the regulation of glucose transport in skeletal muscle and finding which of the 14 different GLUT isoforms will most effect glucose uptake in muscles during different types of exercise.

This research is vital to the IBRI Diabetes Center because while people with type 2 diabetes have decreased muscle glucose uptake in response to the hormone insulin, they have a normal ability to take up glucose in response to exercise.