Ischemia-reperfusion Exercise Study


The study investigates the relationship between activation of AMP-activated protein kinase (AMPK) in human skeletal muscle and the subsequent improvement in muscle insulin sensitivity for the stimulation of glucose uptake. This will be investigated in young healthy lean male subjects.

Full Title of Study: “Effect of Ischemia on the Insulin-sensitizing Effect of Exercise”

Study Type

  • Study Type: Interventional
  • Study Design
    • Allocation: Randomized
    • Intervention Model: Crossover Assignment
    • Primary Purpose: Basic Science
    • Masking: None (Open Label)
  • Study Primary Completion Date: January 3, 2020

Detailed Description

This study aims to demonstrate the association between AMPK activation and increased insulin sensitivity in human skeletal muscle. We intend to examine insulin sensitivity after various levels of AMPK activation in skeletal muscle that includes exercise at different intensities as well as exercise combined with leg blood flow restriction (ischemia). Our hypothesis is that exercise combined with ischemia will result in an increased activation of AMPK compared to exercise alone, and therefore we expect that exercise combined with ischemia will result in the greatest improvement in muscle insulin sensitivity. Methods: The main experiment consists of 3 experimental days (A, B and C), separated by a minimum of 14 days and carried out in a randomised order. On all the study days the participants will arrive in the laboratory after an overnight fast. Catheters will be placed in both femoral veins and in one femoral artery. A muscle biopsy will be obtained from vastus lateralis of one leg (resting leg). Experiment A consists of one-legged muscle work for 1 hour at 70% of the leg maximum aerobic work capacity with the other leg serving as a resting control. In experiment B, the same work are performed, but with periodic at the same constricting the blood supply to the working leg (25 seconds every 2 min). Experiment C consists of one-legged muscle work for 1 hour at 70% and 95% of the leg maximum aerobic work capacity (alternately every 5 min). Immediately after each type of exercise a biopsy will be obtained from the exercising leg and the participants will rest in the fasted state for 3 hours before a third set of muscle biopsies (from both legs) will be obtained. Subsequently, insulin sensitivity will be evaluated during a 2-hour physiological hyperinsulinemic euglycemic clamp. By the end of the clamp a final set of biopsies (both legs) will be obtained. Throughout the study day sampling of artery and venous blood/plasma samples allow estimation of substrate extraction by the two legs. Further, measures of artery blood flow by Ultrasound Doppler technique will allow a final calculation of substrate uptake/release across the two legs before exercise, during exercise and in recovery from exercise. Importantly, the ability for insulin to stimulate theses process can be evaluated in both a rested and in the prior exercised leg.


  • Other: Exercise, insulin infusion
    • Acute one-legged exercise, Insulin infusion 3 hours after one-legged exercise

Arms, Groups and Cohorts

  • Experimental: Low intensity exercise
    • 70% of maximal leg work load capacity
  • Experimental: High intensity exercise
    • 70% and 95% of maximal work load capacity (alternately every 5 min)
  • Experimental: Low intensity exercise + intermittent ischemia-reperfusion
    • 70% of maximal leg work load capacity with intermittent ischemia (25 seconds every 2 min)

Clinical Trial Outcome Measures

Primary Measures

  • Muscle glucose uptake during exercise and enhanced insulin sensitivity in recovery from exercise.
    • Time Frame: Through study completion, an average of 1 year.
    • Leg glucose uptake is calculated by the arterial-venous difference i blood glucose concentration multiplied with leg blood flow. Sampling of artery and venous blood samples for blood glucose measurements. Measures of artery blood flow by Ultrasound Doppler technique allows a final calculation of glucose uptake across the legs before exercise, during exercise, in recovery from exercise and with insulin stimulation.

Secondary Measures

  • AMPK activity in muscle biopsies
    • Time Frame: 5 years
    • The obtained muscle samples will be subjected to protein kinase activity measurements.
  • Posttranslational modification of proteins in muscle biopsies
    • Time Frame: 5 years
    • The obtained muscle samples will be subjected to standard western blotting for the evaluation of posttranslational modifications of various proteins involved in glucose metabolism.

Participating in This Clinical Trial

Inclusion Criteria

  • normal weight (BMI: below or equal to 27) – physical active on a regular basis – cardiorespiratory fitness between 40-60 ml/kg/min – no history or sign of type 2 diabetes, hypertension, insulin resistance or dyslipidemia Exclusion Criteria:

  • smoker – BMI: above 27 – using any kind of medication

Gender Eligibility: Male

Minimum Age: 25 Years

Maximum Age: 35 Years

Are Healthy Volunteers Accepted: Accepts Healthy Volunteers

Investigator Details

  • Lead Sponsor
    • University of Copenhagen
  • Provider of Information About this Clinical Study
    • Principal Investigator: Professor Jorgen FP Wojtaszewski, Professor – University of Copenhagen

Clinical trials entries are delivered from the US National Institutes of Health and are not reviewed separately by this site. Please see the identifier information above for retrieving further details from the government database.

At, we keep tabs on over 200,000 clinical trials in the US and abroad, using medical data supplied directly by the US National Institutes of Health. Please see the About and Contact page for details.