Associations of human skeletal muscle fiber type and insulin sensitivity, blood lipids, and vascular hemodynamics in a cohort of premenopausal women

Academic Article


  • Purpose: Cardiometabolic disease remains a leading cause of morbidity and mortality in developed nations. Consequently, identifying and understanding factors associated with underlying pathophysiological processes leading to chronic cardio metabolic conditions is critical. Metabolic health, arterial elasticity, and insulin sensitivity (SI) may impact disease risk, and may be determined in part by myofiber type. Therefore, the purpose of this study was to test the hypothesis that type I myofiber composition would be associated with high SI, greater arterial elasticity, lower blood pressure, and blood lipids; whereas, type IIx myofibers would be associated with lower SI, lower arterial elasticity, higher blood pressure, blood lipids. Methods: Muscle biopsies were performed on the vastus lateralis in 16 subjects (BMI = 27.62 ± 4.71 kg/m2, age = 32.24 ± 6.37 years, 43% African American). The distribution of type I, IIa, and IIx myofibers was determined via immunohistochemistry performed on frozen cross-sections. Pearson correlation analyses were performed to assess associations between myofiber composition, SI, arterial elasticity, blood pressure, and blood lipid concentrations. Results: The percentage of type I myofibers positively correlated with SI and negatively correlated with systolic blood pressure SBP, diastolic blood pressure, and mean arterial pressure (MAP); whereas, the percentage of type IIx myofibers were negatively correlated with SI and large artery elasticity, and positively correlated with LDL cholesterol, SBP, and MAP. Conclusions: These data demonstrate a potential link between myofiber composition and cardiometabolic health outcomes in a cohort of premenopausal women. Future research is needed to determine the precise mechanisms in which myofiber composition impacts the pathophysiology of impaired glucose and lipid metabolism, as well as vascular dysfunction.
  • Digital Object Identifier (doi)

    Author List

  • Fisher G; Windham ST; Griffin P; Warren JL; Gower BA; Hunter GR
  • Start Page

  • 1413
  • End Page

  • 1422
  • Volume

  • 117
  • Issue

  • 7