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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

Glucose transporter gene expression in rat conceptus during high glucose culture.

We investigated the expression of glucose transporter genes and protein in embryo and yolk sac during organogenesis and the regulation of glucose transporters during culture in hyperglycaemic media. Erythrocyte-type glucose transporter (GLUT 1) and brain-type glucose transporter (GLUT 3) mRNA were expressed in embryo and yolk sac. The expression of GLUT-1 and GLUT-3 mRNA was abundant on day 9-11 and day 9-10 in the embryo, respectively, and day 9-14 and day 10-11 in the yolk sac, respectively. The levels of GLUT-1 protein in the embryo increased in parallel with the expression of GLUT-1 mRNA during the corresponding period. Immunohistochemical staining of GLUT-1 protein was found principally in the neuroepithelial cells surrounding the neural tube in the embryo on day 10 and appeared in the microvessels surrounding the neural tube after day 12. To test whether the expression of glucose transporter genes and protein was suppressed during hyperglycaemia, conceptuses were cultured in high glucose medium. The abundant expression of GLUT-1 protein was not decreased during culture in high glucose media for 24 h (day 9-10) and was only down-regulated by prolonged exposure to this media for 48 h (day 9-11). We have demonstrated the predominant expression of the high affinity glucose transporter (GLUT 1 and GLUT 3) genes and (GLUT 1) protein in embryo during the early period of organogenesis. The persistently abundant expression of glucose transporter during the critical period of neural tube formation (day 9-10) even in the presence of hyperglycaemia may explain one of the mechanism of increased glucose flux into the neuroepithelium, which may lead to neural tube defects.[1]


  1. Glucose transporter gene expression in rat conceptus during high glucose culture. Takao, Y., Akazawa, S., Matsumoto, K., Takino, H., Akazawa, M., Trocino, R.A., Maeda, Y., Okuno, S., Kawasaki, E., Uotani, S. Diabetologia (1993) [Pubmed]
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