Journal of Sports Science and Medicine
Journal of Sports Science and Medicine
ISSN: 1303 - 2968   
Ios-APP Journal of Sports Science and Medicine
Androit-APP Journal of Sports Science and Medicine
©Journal of Sports Science and Medicine (2019) 18, 537 - 543

Research article
Plasma Apelin Unchanged With Acute Exercise Insulin Sensitization
Justin D. Waller, Emily H. McNeill, Frank Zhong, Lauren S. Vervaecke, Allan H. Goldfarb 
Author Information
Department of Kinesiology, University of North Carolina at Greensboro, Greensboro, NC, USA

Allan H. Goldfarb
✉ Professor Department of Kinesiology, University of North Carolina at Greensboro, 260 Coleman Building, 1408 Walker Avenue, USA
Publish Date
Received: 17-04-2019
Accepted: 28-06-2019
Published (online): 01-08-2019
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Blood glucose and insulin responses to aerobic exercise are well defined yet the mechanisms effecting post-exercise insulin sensitization remain incomplete. Apelin has been reported to enhance glucose uptake and insulin sensitivity in vivo, but its role as a regulator of insulin sensitivity following acute aerobic exercise has not been investigated. Therefore, the purpose of this study was to investigate apelin’s response to acute bouts of maximal and submaximal aerobic exercise and to elucidate apelin’s influence on insulin sensitivity. Twelve (22.8 ± 2.9 yrs) healthy male (n = 7) and female (n = 5) subjects completed a graded to maximal (VO2max) and submaximal (70-75% VO2max) treadmill running bouts, as well as a 50g glucose challenge (GC). Blood was obtained at four time points (pre, post, 1hr post and 24hrs post) and assessed for glucose, insulin and apelin. Hepatic insulin sensitivity was assessed at rest and at 1hr and 24hrs via HOMA-IR and QUICKI indices. Results demonstrated that plasma apelin did not significantly change by condition (p = 0.324) or time (p = 0.633). Blood glucose and plasma insulin were significantly elevated immediately after VO2max and GC, but remained stable after submaximal exercise. Insulin sensitivity was significantly improved 1hr post-submaximal exercise, per HOMA-IR (p = 0.034) and QUICKI (p = 0.018) indices. Plasma apelin was significantly correlated with plasma insulin (r = 0.699, p = 0.011), HOMA-IR (r = 0.626, p = 0.029) and QUICKI (r = 0.660, p = 0.019) at rest. We conclude that, although hepatic insulin sensitivity was improved 1hr post-submaximal exercise, this exercise-induced insulin sensitization occurred independent of plasma apelin changes.

Key words: Aerobic exercise, QUICKI, HOMA-IR, glucose challenge

           Key Points
  • Acute steady state aerobic exercise enhances insulin sensitization without an increase in plasma apelin in apparently healthy young subjects.
  • Graded exercise to VO2max increases plasma glucose and insulin without a concomitant change in plasma apelin.
  • An acute glucose load can increase plasma glucose and insulin but does not increase plasma apelin in apparently healthy young subjects.
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