Exercise training, like diazepam, is commonly employed as a means of reducing anxiety. Both diazepam and exercise training have been shown to modify carbohydrate and lipid metabolism as well as influence calcium metabolism in skeletal muscle. As receptor binding and thereby efficacy of diazepam has been demonstrated to be modulated by the lipid environment of the receptor, and changes in calcium levels can affect a number of intracellular signalling pathways, we sought to determine if the interaction of both chronic diazepam and exercise training would modify selected metabolic indices in an animal model. For this purpose, muscle and liver glycogen, blood glucose and plasma free fatty acids (FFA) were measured in sedentary, exercise trained and exercise trained, acutely exhausted animals. Alterations in lipid and carbohydrate metabolism were observed in all experimental groups. Diazepam treatment alone exerts metabolic consequences, such as elevated muscle glycogen and plasma FFA and depressed blood glucose levels, which are similar to those observed with exercise training. When animals are acutely exercised to exhaustion, however, differences appear, including a reduced rise in plasma FFA, which suggests that long-term diazepam treatment does influence exercise metabolism, possibly as a result of effects on the sympatho-adrenal system.
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