Prenatal expression of the GLUT4 glucose transporter in the mouse

Susan J. Vannucci, Tina Rutherford, Mary Beth Wilkie, Ian A. Simpson, Jean M. Lauder

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

25 Scopus citations


The GLUT4 glucose transporter is primarily expressed in skeletal muscle, heart and adipose tissue, where its expression is postnatal, coincident with the acquisition of insulin-regulated glucose transport. In muscle, contraction also regulates GLUT4 activity in the postnatal animal. Here we demonstrate that GLUT4 is expressed in the developing mouse embryo with specific tissue and spatiotemporal patterns. From embryonic day 9 (E9; E1 = day of copulation plug) to postnatal day 70 (P70), mice were analyzed for GLUT4 mRNA and protein expression by in situ hybridization, immunohistochemistry and immunoblot. Specificity was confirmed with sense riboprobe hybridization and peptide competition, respectively. At E9, GLUT4 was detected in the cranial neural folds in the outer (mantle) layer of the neuroepithelium. At E10, expression was present throughout the developing heart and was prominent in the endocardial cushions through E12. At E10-12, GLUT4 was also prominent in craniofacial mesenchyme. GLUT4 expression in cartilage and bone was evident at E12 and was maintained throughout early postnatal life. GLUT4 was apparent throughout embryonic development in the ventricular epithelium, choroid plexus and in the developing cerebellum. At birth, cardiac expression was reduced and GLUT4 was most evident in cartilage, bone and specific brain regions. In the latter, GLUT4 expression was most evident in the cerebellum, specifically in the external granular layer through P7 and in the internal granular layer thereafter. Maximal GLUT4 protein levels in the cerebellum were measured between P14 and P21 and were reduced in the adult brain. These findings suggest that GLUT4-mediated glucose transport may play important roles during development of the brain and nonneuronal tissues in the mouse embryo. Copyright (C) 2000 S. Karger AG, Basel.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)274-282
Number of pages9
JournalDevelopmental Neuroscience
Issue number4
StatePublished - Aug 2000

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Neurology
  • Developmental Neuroscience


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