Altered renal expression of the insulin-responsive glucose transporter GLUT4 in experimental diabetes mellitus

R. G. Marcus, R. England, K. Nguyen, M. J. Charron, J. P. Briggs, F. C. Brosius

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52 Scopus citations


Because the insulin-responsive glucose transporter, GLUT4, is expressed in renal vascular and glomerular cells, we determined the effects of experimental diabetes mellitus on GLUT4 expression and glucose uptake by these tissues. Quantitative reverse-transcription polymerase chain reaction studies of microdissected afferent microvessels and renal glomeruli showed that, after 1 wk of diabetes, GLUT4 mRNA was decreased to 26 and 34% of control values, respectively. GLUT4 immunoblots of renal glomerular and microvessel samples showed that GLUT4 polypeptide was decreased to 51% of control values. These results were confirmed by indirect immunofluorescence, which showed decreased GLUT4 expression in glomerular cells and in vascular smooth muscle cells of the afferent microvasculature of diabetic animals. Uptake of the glucose analogue, 2-deoxyglucose, was also depressed in microvessels of diabetic rats to 57% of control values, supporting the conclusion that fewer total glucose transporters were available for glucose uptake into diabetic renal glomerular and microvascular cells. Thus both GLUT4 expression and glucose uptake by glomerular and microvascular cells are decreased in diabetic animals. These results have led us to suggest a mechanism by which decreased renal GLUT4 expression could contribute to glomerular hyperfiltration and hypertension seen in early diabetes.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)F816-F824
JournalAmerican Journal of Physiology - Renal Fluid and Electrolyte Physiology
Issue number5 36-5
StatePublished - 1994
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physiology


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