Epinephrine increases glycogen synthase (GS) phosphorylation and decreases GS activity but also stimulates glycogen breakdown, and low glycogen content normally activates GS. To test the hypothesis that glycogen content directly regulates GS phosphorylation, glycogen breakdown was stimulated in condition with decreased GS activation. Saline or epinephrine (0.02 mg/100 g rat) was injected subcutaneously in Wistar rats (∼130 g) with low (24-h-fasted), normal (normal diet), and high glycogen content (fasted-refed), and epitrochlearis muscles were removed after 3 h and incubated ex vivo, eliminating epinephrine action. Epinephrine injection reduced glycogen content in epitrochlearis muscles with high (120.7 ± 17.8 vs. 204.6 ± 14.5 mmol/kg, P < 0.01) and normal glycogen (89.5 ± 7.6 vs. 152 ± 8.1 mmol/kg, P < 0.01), but not significantly in muscles with low glycogen (90.0 ± 5.0 vs. 102.8 ± 7.8 mmol/kg, P = 0.17). In saline-injected rats, GS phosphorylation at sites 2+2a, 3a+3b, and 1b was higher and GS activity lower in muscles with high compared with low glycogen. GS sites 2+2a and 3a+3b phosphorylation decreased and GS activity increased in muscles where epinephrine decreased glycogen content; these parameters were unchanged in epitrochlearis from fasted rats where epinephrine injection did not decrease glycogen content. Incubation with...

Kolnes, Anders Jensen; Birk, Jesper B.; Eilertsen, Einar; Stuenæs, Jorid Thrane; Wojtaszewski, Jørgen; Jensen, Jørgen
American Journal of Physiology. Endocrinology and Metabolism HighWire Press, American Journal of Physiology. Endocrinology and Metabolism 308(3): E231–E240
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