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Overexpression of GLUT3 placental glucose transporter in diabetic rats.

By P Boileau, C Mrejen, J Girard and S Hauguel-de Mouzon


The localization of the two major placental glucose transporter isoforms, GLUT1 and GLUT3 was studied in 20-d pregnant rats. Immunocytochemical studies revealed that GLUT1 protein is expressed ubiquitously in the junctional zone (maternal side) and the labyrinthine zone (fetal side) of the placenta. In contrast, expression of GLUT3 protein is restricted to the labyrinthine zone, specialized in nutrient transfer. After 19-d maternal insulinopenic diabetes (streptozotocin), placental GLUT3 mRNA and protein levels were increased four-to-fivefold compared to nondiabetic rats, whereas GLUT1 mRNA and protein levels remained unmodified. Placental 2-deoxyglucose uptake and glycogen concentration were also increased fivefold in diabetic rats. These data suggest that GLUT3 plays a major role in placental glucose uptake and metabolism. The role of hyperglycemia in the regulation of GLUT3 expression was assessed by lowering the glycemia of diabetic pregnant rats. After a 5-d phlorizin infusion to pregnant diabetic rats, placental GLUT3 mRNA and protein levels returned to levels similar to those observed in nondiabetic rats. Furthermore, a short-term hyperglycemia (12 h), achieved by performing hyperglycemic clamps induced a fourfold increase in placental GLUT3 mRNA and protein with no concomitant change in GLUT1 expression. This study provides the first evidence that placental GLUT3 mRNA and protein expression can be stimulated in vivo under hyperglycemic conditions. Thus, GLUT3 transporter isoform appears to be highly sensitive to ambient glucose levels and may play a pivotal role in the severe alterations of placental function observed in diabetic pregnancies

Topics: Research Article
Year: 1995
DOI identifier: 10.1172/jci118036
OAI identifier:
Provided by: PubMed Central
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