Radiolabeled analogues of 2-deoxyglucose are widely used to trace glucose metabolism in cell cultures, whole organs, and intact animals, although kinetic differences in transport and phosphorylation between these compounds and glucose exist. The present studies were undertaken to determine the effects of insulin stimulation on the phosphorylation of 2-deoxyglucose compared to glucose in the intact, saline-perfused working rat heart. Rates of glucose utilization determined from tritiated glucose differed from rates estimated from the accumulation of [14C]2-deoxyglucose in a nonconstant manner when comparing rates in the absence or presence of physiologic levels of insulin (13 microU/ml). The fraction of monophosphorylated hexoses that was accounted for by [14C]2-deoxyglucose 6-phosphate was dramatically decreased in hearts perfused in the presence of insulin. Additionally, hexokinase activity associated with the mitochondrial fraction of tissue extracts was increased in hearts stimulated by insulin. While this redistribution of hexokinase to the mitochondria did not affect the apparent affinity constant for glucose, hexokinase bound to mitochondria exhibited an 8.5-fold decrease in the affinity for 2-deoxyglucose when compared with hexokinase present in the cytosolic fraction. The findings are consistent with an insulin-mediated preferential uptake and phosphorylation of glucose compared to deoxyglucose. The results also imply that the redistribution of hexokinase and the differential effect of insulin on its affinity for tracer and tracee are responsible for changes in the "lumped constant" (i.e., the correction factor used to equate 2-deoxyglucose to glucose uptake). These changes must be taken into account when regional myocardial glucose metabolism is assessed by the 2-deoxyglucose method.
R R Russell 3rd, J M Mrus, J I Mommessin, H Taegtmeyer