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Research Article

Effect of denervation on the expression of two glucose transporter isoforms in rat hindlimb muscle.

N E Block, D R Menick, K A Robinson and M G Buse

Division of Endocrinology, Metabolism and Nutrition, Gazes Cardiac Research Institute, Medical University of South Carolina, Charleston 29425.

Published November 1991

Denervation rapidly (within 24 h) induces insulin resistance of several insulin-responsive pathways in skeletal muscle, including glucose transport; resistance is usually maximal by 3 d. We examined the effect of denervation on the expression of two glucose transporter isoforms (GLUT-1 and GLUT-4) in rat hindlimb muscle; GLUT-4 is the predominant species in muscle. 1 d postdenervation, GLUT-1 and GLUT-4 mRNA and protein concentrations were unchanged. 3 and 7 d postdenervation, GLUT-4 mRNA and protein (per microgram DNA) were decreased by 50%. The minor isoform, GLUT-1 mRNA increased by approximately 500 and approximately 100%, respectively, on days 3 and 7 while GLUT-1 protein increased by approximately 60 and approximately 100%. The data suggest that the insulin resistance of glucose transport early after denervation does not reflect a decrease in total glucose transporter number; however, decreased GLUT-4 expression may contribute to its increased severity after 3 d. Parallel decreases in GLUT-4 mRNA and GLUT-4 protein postdenervation are consistent with pretranslational regulation; GLUT-1 expression may be regulated pre- and posttranslationally. The cell type(s) which overexpress GLUT-1 postdenervation need to be identified. Nervous stimuli and/or contractile activity may modulate the expression of GLUT-1 and GLUT-4 in skeletal muscle tissue.

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