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Background: Undercarboxylated osteocalcin (ucOC) increases insulin sensitivity in mice. In humans, data are supportive, but the studies are mostly cross-sectional. Exercise increases whole-body insulin sensitivity, in part via ucOC, while acute glucocorticoid treatment suppresses ucOC in humans and mice. Objectives: A single dose of prednisolone reduces the rise in ucOC produced by exercise, which partly accounts for the failed increase in insulin sensitivity following exercise. Methods: Healthy young men (n=12) aged 18 to 40 years will be recruited. Initial assessments will include analysis of fasting blood, body composition, aerobic power (VO2peak), and peak heart rate. Participants will then be randomly allocated, double-blind, to a single dose of 20 mg of prednisolone or placebo. The two experimental trials will involve 30 minutes of interval exercise (90%-95% peak heart rate), followed by 3 hours of recovery and 2 hours of euglycaemic- hyperinsulinaemic clamp (insulin clamp). Seven muscle biopsies and blood samples will be obtained at rest, following exercise and post-insulin clamps. Results: The study is funded by the National Heart Foundation of Australia and Victoria University. Enrollment has already commenced and data collection will be completed in 2016. Conclusion: If the hypothesis is confirmed, the study will provide novel insights into the potential role of ucOC in insulin sensitivity in human subjects and will elucidate pathways involved in exercise-induced insulin sensitivity.


Mary MacKillop Institute for Health Research

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Open Access Journal Article

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Open Access