The use of the [1,2-13C]acetate recovery factor in metabolic research

L.J.C. van Loon*, R. Koopman, P. Schrauwen, J.H.C.H. Stegen, A.J.M. Wagenmakers

*Corresponding author for this work

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The use of the [1,2-13C]acetate recovery factor in metabolic research.

van Loon LJ, Koopman R, Schrauwen P, Stegen J, Wagenmakers AJ.

Nutrition Research Institute Maastricht (NUTRIM), Department of Human Biology, Maastricht University, PO Box 616, 6200 MD Maastricht, The Netherlands. [email protected]

To provide guidelines on the correct application of the acetate recovery factor in metabolic research, we investigated the influence of exercise intensity and infusion protocol on [1,2-(13)C]acetate label recovery during exercise. Eight cyclists were studied during [1,2-(13)C]acetate infusion for 1 h at rest followed by three 30-min stages of cycling exercise at a workload of 40, 55 and 75% maximal workload ( W(max)), respectively (protocol 1). Four cyclists were subsequently studied following [1,2-(13)C]acetate infusion in three separate trials while cycling at the same workloads but in the absence of any pre-exercise infusion period (protocol 2). Finally, we observed the cyclists during [1,2-(13)C]acetate infusion at a 40% W(max) workload after 4 h of pre-exercise infusion (protocol 3). Acetate recovery increased from 13.7 (0.4)%, after 1 h of rest, to a plateau value of 75.1 (2), 91.2 (0.7) and 101 (2)% during exercise at 40, 55 and 75% W(max) workloads, respectively. In protocol 2, without prior infusion time, fractional label recovery was substantially lower at each separate workload. In contrast, when applying an extensive pre-exercise infusion period of 4 h, acetate recovery rates were substantially increased compared to the values observed in protocols 1 and 2 during exercise at a 40% W(max) workload. In conclusion, in contrast to resting conditions, acetate recovery reaches a plateau value during exercise. Though this plateau value is repeatedly used to correct for label recovery in various exercise studies, our data clearly show that acetate label recovery during exercise not only depends on the exercise intensity but also on the applied infusion protocol. Therefore, theoretical acetate recovery factors taken from previous literature are not generally applicable
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)377-383
Number of pages6
JournalEuropean Journal of Applied Physiology and Occupational Physiology
Issue number3-4
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2003


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