Several recent reports indicate that the balance of skeletal muscle phosphatidylcholine (PC) and phosphatidylethanolamine (PE) is a key determinant of muscle contractile function and metabolism. The purpose of this study was to determine relationships between skeletal muscle PC, PE and insulin sensitivity, and whether PC and PE are dynamically regulated in response to acute exercise in humans. Insulin sensitivity was measured via intravenous glucose tolerance in sedentary obese adults (OB; n=14), individuals with type 2 diabetes (T2D; n=15) and endurance-trained athletes (ATH; n=15). Vastus lateralis muscle biopsies were obtained at rest, immediately after 90min of cycle ergometry at 50% VO2max, and 2h-post exercise (recovery). Skeletal muscle PC and PE were measured via infusion-based MS/MS analysis. ATH had greater levels of muscle PC and PE compared with OB and T2D (P<0.05), with total PC and PE positively relating to insulin sensitivity (both P<0.05). Skeletal muscle PC:PE ratio was elevated in T2D compared with OB and ATH (P<0.05), tended to be elevated in OB vs. ATH (P=0.07), and was inversely related to insulin sensitivity among the entire cohort (r=-0.43, P=0.01). Muscle PC and PE were altered by exercise, particularly after 2h of recovery, in a highly group-specific manner. However, muscle PC:PE ratio remained unchanged in all groups. In summary, total muscle PC and PE are positively related to insulin sensitivity while PC:PE ratio is inversely related to insulin sensitivity in humans. A single session of exercise significantly alters skeletal muscle PC and PE levels, but not PC:PE ratio.
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