Insulin as Regulator of Skeletal Muscle Na+/K+-ATPase Concentration in Rats With Experimental Diabetes and Patients With Diabetes Mellitus

  • H. Vestergaard
  • T. A. Schmidt
  • P. A. Farrell
  • S. Hasselbalch
  • K. Kjeldsen


Using vanadate facilitated 3H-ouabain binding to intact samples it has earlier been demonstrated that untreated streptozotocin (STZ) induced diabetes in rats leads to a significant reduction in skeletal muscle Na+/K+-ATPase concentration (8). Aspects regarding Na+/K+-ATPase regulation in humans with diabetes have primarily been investigated using erythrocyte membranes. Both in IDDM (13,16) and NIDDM (10,11) a Na+/K+-ATPase decrease of around 30 % has previously been reported in erythrocytes. The attention should, however, be brought to the evidence that studies on erythrocyte membranes regarding Na+/K+-ATPase regulation need not mirror regulatory aspects of Na+/K+-ATPase in other tissues, and should generally not be expected to furnish data of general physiological impact (7,12,14). In e.g. K-depletion Na+/K+-ATPase concentration is reportedly upregulated in erythrocytes but downregulated in muscles. While skeletal muscle in adult human subjects contain 75% of the total body K, erythrocytes contain only 7%. Since furthermore skeletal muscle K continuously equilibrates substantially with blood, erythrocytes, thus, play only a minor role in plasma K regulation compared to skeletal muscle.


Skeletal Muscle Erythrocyte Membrane Plasma Insulin Concentration Untreated Diabetes Adult Human Subject 
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Copyright information

© Dietrich Steinkopff Verlag GmbH & Co. KG, Darmstadt 1994

Authors and Affiliations

  • H. Vestergaard
    • 1
  • T. A. Schmidt
    • 2
  • P. A. Farrell
    • 3
  • S. Hasselbalch
    • 4
  • K. Kjeldsen
    • 5
  1. 1.Steno Diabetes CentreGentofteDenmark
  2. 2.Departments of Cardiothoracic Surgery RTUniversity of CopenhagenCopenhagenDenmark
  3. 3.Laboratory for Human Performance ResearchPennsylvania State UniversityUSA
  4. 4.Neurology N, RigshospitaletUniversity of CopenhagenCopenhagenDenmark
  5. 5.Medicine B, RigshospitaletUniversity of CopenhagenCopenhagenDenmark

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