Regulation of glucose transporter messenger RNA levels in rat adipose tissue by insulin

William I. Sivitz, Susan L. Desautel, Toshiaki Kayano, Graeme I. Bell, Jeffrey E. Pessin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


Analysis of glucose transporter mRNA levels in adipose tissue from streptozotocin (STZ)-induced diabetic rats demonstrated a specific decrease (10fold) in adipose tissue GLUT-4 mRNA with no significant effect on GLUT-1 mRNA levels. Treatment of STZ-diabetic rats with twice daily injections of insulin for 1-3 days resulted in a 16-fold increase in the relative amount of GLUT-4 mRNA to levels approximately 2-fold greater than those in control animals. However, after 7 days of insulin therapy the amount of GLUT-4 mRNA decreased approximately 2-fold back to the levels in the control animals. Normalization of the STZ-induced serum hyperglycemia by phlorizin treatment, which inhibits renal tubular reabsorption of glucose, had no effect on GLUT-4 mRNA in the absence of insulin. Similar to STZ-diabetes, fasting for 48 h also reduced adipose GLUT-4 mRNA levels. Parenteral administration of insulin with glucose over 7.5 h, but not glucose alone, increased the levels of the GLUT-4 mRNA 3-to 4-fold. These studies demonstrate that the relative glycemic state does not influence GLUT-4 glucose transporter mRNA expression in vivo and strongly suggests that insulin is a major factor regulating the levels of GLUT-4 mRNA in adipose tissue.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)583-588
Number of pages6
JournalMolecular Endocrinology
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 1990
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Molecular Biology
  • Endocrinology


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