IL-6 is not essential for exercise-induced increases in glucose uptake
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Interleukin-6 (IL-6) increases glucose uptake in resting skeletal muscle. IL-6 is released from skeletal muscle during exercise; however; it is not known whether this IL-6 response is important for exercise-induced increases in skeletal muscle glucose uptake. We report that IL-6 knockout (KO) mice, 4 mo of age, have similar body weight to wild-type (WT), and, under resting conditions, oxygen consumption, food intake, substrate utilization, glucose tolerance, and insulin sensitivity are not different. Maximal exercise capacity is also similar to WT. We investigated substrate utilization and glucose clearance in vivo during steady-state treadmill running at 70% of maximal running speed and found that WT and IL-6 KO mice had similar rates of substrate utilization, muscle glucose clearance, and phosphorylation of AMP-activated protein kinase T172. These data provide evidence that IL-6 does not play a major role in regulating substrate utilization or skeletal muscle glucose uptake during steady-state endurance exercise.
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