Short-Term Starvation Decreases Skeletal-Muscle Protein-Synthesis Rate in Man

P ESSEN, M A MCNURLAN, J WERNERMAN, Eric Milne, E VINNARS, P J GARLICK

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    Abstract

    The rate of protein synthesis in skeletal muscle was determined in the post-absorptive state and after 3 days of starvation in healthy volunteers. The flooding dose technique employing intravenous injection of (1-C-13)leucine (0.05 g kg-1) was used and incorporation of isotope into muscle protein was measured by taking percutaneous biopsies at 0 and 90 min. Blood samples were taken during the incorporation period for assessment of the enrichment of the free amino acid precursor of protein synthesis. The median (25,75 quartiles) rate of muscle protein synthesis after an overnight fast was 2.03 (2.00,2.23) % days-1 when the precursor enrichment was obtained by measurement of the plasma alpha-ketoisocaproate, taken to be representative of muscle free leucine. Repeat measurements in the same subjects after 3 days of total starvation showed a decrease to 1.82 (1.57,2.05) % days-1. Rates calculated on the basis of the plasma leucine as precursor were 5% lower at both times. An interindividual variation in response to starvation was observed, but the median decrease of 13% in the rate of protein synthesis was statistically significant (P < 0.01).

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)287-299
    Number of pages13
    JournalClinical Physiology
    Volume12
    Issue number3
    Publication statusPublished - May 1992

    Keywords

    • Fasting
    • Leucine
    • Protein Synthesis
    • Stable Isotope
    • Amino-Acid Metabolism
    • Turnover
    • Compartmentation
    • <1-C-13>Leucine
    • infusion
    • tissues
    • injury
    • valine
    • liver
    • mass

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