Horm Metab Res 1995; 27(11): 491-494
DOI: 10.1055/s-2007-980009
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© Georg Thieme Verlag Stuttgart · New York

Effect of Dehydroepiandrosterone on Glucose Uptake in Cultured Rat Myoblasts

N. Nakashima, M. Haji, F. Umeda, H. Nawata
  • Third Department of Internal Medicine, Faculty of Medicine, Kyushu University, Fukuoka, Japan
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Publication Date:
23 April 2007 (online)


The effects of dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA) on glucose uptake and on insulin sensitivity were studied in cultured rat myoblasts (L6 cells). Preincubation with supraphysiological doses of DHEA (10-5 M ∼) significantly enhanced (p < 0.05) the cellular uptake of [3H]-2-deoxyglucose. Glucose uptake was significantly increased in cells exposed to 10-4 M DHEA for 10 hours (p < 0.005), and for 24 hours (p < 0.001), but not for 3 hours. An increase in DHEA sensitivity with an enhanced glucose uptake was observed in cells exposed to 10-7 M of human insulin. Insulin sensitivity was increased by preincubating the cells with 10-6 M of DHEA. Other androgens enhanced the effect on glucose uptake to a lesser extent. DHEA sulfate had no effect on L6 cells, suggesting that the effect may be specific for DHEA, not common to androgens. Sulfation of DHEA may negate the effect. In reciprocal plot analysis, the Km value for glucose transport was decreased by preincubation with DHEA (from 0.67 mM without DHEA, 0.56 mM with 10-5 M DHEA, and 0.25 mM with 10-4 M DHEA), although Vmax was unchanged. We conclude that DHEA increases the affinity of glucose transport in the plasma membrane of cultured rat myoblasts, leading to an enhanced glucose uptake and an increase in insulin sensitivity.