T. David, P. Ortiz, T. R. Smith
The American journal of physiology
Rat epididymal adipocytes were incubated with 0, 0.1, and 1 mU sphingomyelinase/ml for 30 or 60 min, and glucose uptake and GLUT-1 and GLUT-4 translocation were assessed. Adipocytes exposed to 1 mU sphingomyelinase/ml exhibited a 173% increase in glucose uptake. Sphingomyelinase had no effect on the abundance of GLUT-1 in the plasma membrane of adipocytes. In contrast, 1 mU sphingomyelinase/ml increased plasma membrane content of GLUT-4 by 120% and produced a simultaneous decrease in GLUT-4 abundance in the low-density microsomal fraction. Sphingomyelinase had no effect on tyrosine phosphorylation of either the insulin receptor beta-subunit or the insulin receptor substrate-1, a signaling molecule in the insulin signaling pathway. It is concluded that the incubation of adipocytes with sphingomyelinase results in insulin-like translocation of GLUT-4 to the plasma membrane and that this translocation does not occur via the activation of the initial components of the insulin signaling pathway.