Differential expression of glucose transporters during chick embryogenesis

Cell Mol Life Sci. 2001 Apr;58(4):645-52. doi: 10.1007/PL00000887.


The patterns of Glut1 and Glut3 glucose transporter protein and mRNA expression were assessed during embryogenesis of chicken brain and skeletal muscle, Glut4 protein levels were also evaluated in skeletal muscle and heart, and Glut1 was examined in the developing heart and liver. Glut1 protein expression was detectable throughout brain ontogeny but was highest during early development. Glut1 mRNA levels in the brain remained very high throughout development. Glut3 protein was highest very early and very late and mRNA was highest during the last half of development. In embryonic skeletal muscle, the levels of Glut1 and Glut3 proteins and mRNA were highest very early, and declined severely by mid-development. Glut1 protein and mRNA in the heart also peaked early and then decreased steadily. Although Glut1 mRNA levels were consistently high in the embryonic liver, Glut1 protein expression was not detected. These results suggest that (1) Glut1 is developmentally regulated in chick brain, skeletal muscle, and heart, (2) Glut1 mRNA is present in liver but does not appear to be translated, (3) Glut3 in brain increases developmentally but is virtually absent in muscle, and (4) Glut4 protein and mRNA appear to be absent from chick heart and skeletal muscle.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Brain / embryology
  • Chick Embryo
  • Gene Expression Profiling*
  • Glucose Transporter Type 1
  • Glucose Transporter Type 3
  • Glucose Transporter Type 4
  • Heart / embryology
  • Liver / embryology
  • Monosaccharide Transport Proteins / biosynthesis
  • Monosaccharide Transport Proteins / genetics*
  • Muscle Proteins*
  • Muscle, Skeletal / embryology
  • Nerve Tissue Proteins*


  • Glucose Transporter Type 1
  • Glucose Transporter Type 3
  • Glucose Transporter Type 4
  • Monosaccharide Transport Proteins
  • Muscle Proteins
  • Nerve Tissue Proteins