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Open Access Open Badges Brief communication

Greater insulin sensitivity in calorie restricted rats occurs with unaltered circulating levels of several important myokines and cytokines

Naveen Sharma14*, Carlos M Castorena1 and Gregory D Cartee123

Author Affiliations

1 Muscle Biology Laboratory, School of Kinesiology, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI, USA

2 Department of Molecular and Integrative Physiology, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI, USA

3 Institute of Gerontology, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI, USA

4 University of Michigan, School of Kinesiology, Room CCRB 2200, 401 Washtenaw Avenue, Ann Arbor, MI, 48109-2214, USA

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Nutrition & Metabolism 2012, 9:90  doi:10.1186/1743-7075-9-90

Published: 15 October 2012


Calorie restriction (CR; ~60% of ad libitum, AL intake) has been associated with substantial alterations in body composition and insulin sensitivity. Recently, several proteins that are secreted by nontraditional endocrine tissues, including skeletal muscle and other tissues, have been discovered to modulate energy metabolism, body composition, and insulin sensitivity. The aim of this study was to characterize the influence of CR by rats on plasma levels of six of these newly recognized metabolic hormones (BDNF, FGF21, IL-1β, myonectin, myostatin, and irisin). Body composition of 9-month old male Fischer-344/Brown Norway rats (AL and CR groups) was determined by nuclear magnetic resonance. Blood sampled from the carotid artery of unanesthetized rats was used to measure concentrations of glucose and plasma proteins. As expected, CR versus AL rats had significantly altered body composition (reduced percent fat mass, increased percent lean mass) and significantly improved insulin sensitivity (based on the homeostasis model assessment-estimated insulin resistance index). Also consistent with previous reports, CR compared to AL rats had significantly greater plasma levels of adiponectin and corticosterone. However, there were no significant diet-related differences in plasma levels of BDNF, FGF21, IL-1β, myonectin, myostatin, or irisin. In conclusion, these results indicate that alterations in plasma concentration of these six secreted proteins are not essential for the CR-related improvement in insulin sensitivity in rats.

Myonectin; Myostatin; FGF21; Irisin; Insulin resistance; Dietary restriction; Adiponectin; FNDC5