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Skeletal muscle contributes to ~40% of total body mass and has numerous important mechanical and metabolic roles in the body. Skeletal muscle is a major site for glucose disposal following a meal. Consequently, skeletal muscle plays an important role in postprandial blood glucose homeostasis. Over the past number of decades, research has demonstrated that insulin has an important role in vasodilating the vasculature in skeletal muscle in response to an insulin infusion (hyperinsulinaemic-euglycaemic clamp) or following the ingestion of a meal. This vascular action of insulin is pivotal for glucose disposal in skeletal muscle, as insulin-stimulated vasodilation increases the delivery of both glucose and insulin to the myocyte. Notably, in insulin-resistant states such as obesity and type 2 diabetes, this vascular response of insulin in skeletal muscle is significantly impaired. Whereas the majority of work in this field has focussed on the action of insulin alone on skeletal muscle microvascular blood flow and myocyte glucose metabolism, there is less understanding of how the consumption of a meal may affect skeletal muscle blood flow. This is in part due to complex variations in glucose and insulin dynamics that occurs postprandially-with changes in humoral concentrations of glucose, insulin, amino acids, gut and pancreatic peptides-compared to the hyperinsulinaemic-euglycaemic clamp. This review will address the emerging body of evidence to suggest that postprandial blood flow responses in skeletal muscle may be a function of the nutritional composition of a meal.


"This is the peer reviewed version of the following article:

Roberts-Thomson, KM, Betik, AC, Premilovac, D, et al. Postprandial microvascular blood flow in skeletal muscle: Similarities and disparities to the hyperinsulinaemic-euglycaemic clamp. Clin Exp Pharmacol Physiol. 2020; 47: 725– 737.

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