Vascular smooth muscle is characterized by a high rate of aerobic lactate production, which may be altered independently of oxidative phosphorylation. This finding suggested a cytoplasmic compartmentation of metabolism. Exogenous glucose was found to be the sole precursor of aerobic glycolysis under unstimulated conditions. Although tissue depolarization with high K+ resulted in a substantial reduction of endogenous glycogen, exogenous glucose remained the sole precursor of aerobic lactate production. These data showed unequivocally that carbohydrate metabolism is compartmentalized in vascular smooth muscle.
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