The impact of bed rest on human skeletal muscle metabolism

Moritz Eggelbusch, Braeden T Charlton, Alessandra Bosutti, Bergita Ganse, Ifigenia Giakoumaki, Anita E Grootemaat, Paul W Hendrickse, Yorrick Jaspers, Stephan Kemp, Tom J Kerkhoff, Wendy Noort, Michel van Weeghel, Nicole N van der Wel, Julia R Wesseling, Petra Frings-Meuthen, Jörn Rittweger, Edwin R Mulder, Richard T Jaspers, Hans Degens, Rob C I Wüst

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

4 Citations (Scopus)


Insulin sensitivity and metabolic flexibility decrease in response to bed rest, but the temporal and causal adaptations in human skeletal muscle metabolism are not fully defined. Here, we use an integrative approach to assess human skeletal muscle metabolism during bed rest and provide a multi-system analysis of how skeletal muscle and the circulatory system adapt to short- and long-term bed rest (German Clinical Trials: DRKS00015677). We uncover that intracellular glycogen accumulation after short-term bed rest accompanies a rapid reduction in systemic insulin sensitivity and less GLUT4 localization at the muscle cell membrane, preventing further intracellular glycogen deposition after long-term bed rest. We provide evidence of a temporal link between the accumulation of intracellular triglycerides, lipotoxic ceramides, and sphingomyelins and an altered skeletal muscle mitochondrial structure and function after long-term bed rest. An intracellular nutrient overload therefore represents a crucial determinant for rapid skeletal muscle insulin insensitivity and mitochondrial alterations after prolonged bed rest.

Original languageEnglish
Article number101372
Pages (from-to)101372
JournalCell reports. Medicine
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 16 Jan 2024


  • Bed Rest/adverse effects
  • Energy Metabolism/physiology
  • GLUT4
  • Glycogen/metabolism
  • Humans
  • Insulin Resistance/physiology
  • Muscle, Skeletal/metabolism
  • bed rest
  • insulin sensitivity
  • lipotoxicity
  • metabolism
  • mitochondria
  • nutrient overload
  • physical inactivity
  • skeletal muscle

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