The purpose of this study was to examine, by positron emission tomography (PET), the distribution of [18F]fluoro-deoxy-glucose ([18F]FDG) uptake by human muscles during 35 min of running. Thirteen healthy male subjects were studied, seven of whom participated in the exercise study. Running intensity was kept constant such that the subjects' heart rates were maintained at between 140 and 150 beats per minute. [18F]FDG [62.9 (14.8) MBq, mean (SD)] was injected after 15 min of running. PET imaging was started immediately after the running ended. The ratio of [18F]FDG uptake by muscles in runners to that in control subjects (r-c ratio) varied from three to six for the muscles of the foot and leg below the knee joint. The r-c ratio of the medial head of the gastrocnemius (MG) was higher than that of its lateral head (LG). The r-c ratio of the rectus femoris (RF) was lower than that of the other three muscles of the quadriceps femoris (QF). The r-c ratio of inactive muscles located above the waist was approximately 0.7. These results suggest that, during the moderate running of this study: (1) glucose uptake by muscles of the foot and leg below the knee joint clearly increases, (2) the r-c ratio differs significantly among the skeletal muscles, which act synergistically, and (3) glucose uptake by inactive skeletal muscles decreases.
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