Wiley, Diabetes/Metabolism Research and Reviews, 1(25), p. 13-40, 2009
The aim of this investigation was to review morphological and metabolic adaptations within skeletal muscle to exercise training in adults with type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM) or impaired glucose tolerance (IGT). A comprehensive, systematic database search for manuscripts was performed from 1966 to March 2008 using computerized databases, including Medline, Premedline, CINAHL, AMED, EMBASE and SportDiscus. Three reviewers independently assessed studies for potential inclusion (exposure to exercise training, T2DM or IGT, muscle biopsy performed). A total of 18 exercise training studies were reviewed. All morphological and metabolic outcomes from muscle biopsies were collected. The metabolic outcomes were divided into six domains: glycogen, glucose facilitated transporter 4 (GLUT4) and insulin signalling, enzymes, markers of inflammation, lipids metabolism and so on. Beneficial adaptations to exercise were seen primarily in muscle fiber area and capillary density, glycogen, glycogen synthase and GLUT4 protein expressions. Few randomized controlled trials including muscle biopsy data existed, with a small number of subjects involved. More trials, especially robustly designed exercise training studies, are needed in this field. Future research should focus on the insulin signalling pathway to better understand the mechanism of the improvements in insulin sensitivity and glucose homeostasis in response to various modalities and doses of exercise in this cohort.