2017 Volume 63 Issue 5 Pages 339-348
Insulin resistance reduces insulin-induced muscle protein synthesis and accelerates muscle protein degradation. Ginseng ingestion has been reported to improve insulin resistance through the phosphoinositide 3-kinase (PI3K)/Akt signaling pathway. We hypothesized that panaxatriol (PT) derived from ginseng in combination with aerobic exercise (EX) may further promote protein synthesis and suppress protein degradation, and subsequently maintain muscle mass through the amelioration of insulin resistance. KKAy insulin-resistant mice were divided into control, panaxatriol only (PT), exercise only (EX), and EX+PT groups. EX and EX+PT ran on the treadmill for 45 min at 15 m/min 5 d/wk for 6 wk. PT and EX+PT groups were fed a standard diet containing 0.2% PT for 6 wk. Homeostasis model assessment for insulin resistance (HOMA-R) values was significantly improved after exercise for 6 wk. Moreover, EX+PT mice showed improved HOMA-R as compared to EX mice. p70S6K phosphorylation after a 4 h fast was significantly higher in EX than in the non-exercise control, and it was higher in EX+PT mice than in EX mice. Atrogin1 mRNA expression was significantly lower in EX than in the non-exercise control, and was significantly lowered further by PT treatment. EX and EX+PT mice showed higher soleus muscle mass and cross-sectional area (CSA) of the soleus myofibers than control animals, with higher values noted for both parameters in EX+PT than in EX. These results suggest that aerobic exercise and PT ingestion may contribute to maintain skeletal muscle mass through the amelioration of insulin resistance.