We have investigated the expression of two glucose transporter isoforms, Glut1 and 4, in 14- and 16-day-old bovine blastocysts (d14, d16) using RT-PCR, competitive RT-PCR and in situ hybridization. The blastocysts were grown in vivo or had been produced in vitro. Glut1 mRNA was detected in all blastocysts studied, Glut4 in all d14 blastocysts, but only in a few d16 blastocysts. Glut4 mRNA was localized in trophoblast and endoderm cells. Glut1 mRNA increased from d14 to d16 while Glut4 transcription was down-regulated in d16 blastocysts. The mRNA amounts varied between 0.8 to 23 pg and 3.9 to 65 fg per 100 ng embryonic RNA for Glut1 and Glut4, respectively, displaying a 100- to 1500-fold lower expression of Glut4 compared with Glut1 during blastocyst elongation. This is the first report on the expression of the insulin-sensitive Glut4 isoform in mammalian preimplantation embryos.
Copyright 2000 Academic Press.