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The time-course of muscle atrophy, and insulin and anabolic resistance during acute periods of physical inactivity

It is well established that ≥1 week of muscle disuse leads to substantial muscle atrophy and impairments in metabolic health. Importantly, this muscle atrophy is associated with a blunted muscle protein synthetic response to protein intake (i.e. anabolic resistance) and a reduced insulin-stimulated glucose uptake (i.e. insulin resistance).

As part of this research line we conduct detailed human intervention studies, via the use of bed rest and limb immobilization models, to investigate the temporal response of muscle protein metabolism and insulin sensitivity in the first few days of muscle disuse. This approach has provided, and will continue to provide, crucial mechanistic insight in the mechanisms underlying muscle atrophy and metabolic deterioration during episodes of physical inactivity.