Glucose-regulated glucose uptake by transplanted muscle cells expressing glucokinase counteracts diabetic hyperglycemia

Hum Gene Ther. 2002 Dec 10;13(18):2125-33. doi: 10.1089/104303402320987824.


Type 1 diabetic patients depend on insulin replacement therapy. However, chronic hyperglycemia due to failure to maintain proper glycemic control leads to microvascular, macrovascular, and neurological complications. Increased glucose disposal by tissues engineered to overexpress key regulatory genes in glucose transport or phosphorylation can reduce diabetic hyperglycemia. Here we report that differentiated myoblast cells expressing the glucose-phosphorylating enzyme glucokinase (GK) showed a glucose-dependent increase in glucose uptake and utilization in vitro. Transplantation of GK-expressing myotubes into healthy mice did not alter blood glucose levels and recipient mice maintained normoglycemia. After streptozotocin treatment, mice transplanted with GK-expressing myotubes counteracted hyperglycemia, polydipsia, and polyphagia, whereas mice transplanted with control myotubes developed diabetes. Similarly, diabetic mice transplanted with control myotubes remained hyperglycemic. In contrast, transplantation of GK-expressing myotubes into diabetic mice lowered hyperglycemia. These results suggest that the use of genetically engineered muscle cells to express glucokinase may provide a glucose-regulated approach to reduce diabetic hyperglycemia.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Blood Glucose / genetics
  • Blood Glucose / metabolism*
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Experimental / genetics
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Experimental / metabolism
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Experimental / therapy*
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 1 / genetics
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 1 / metabolism
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 1 / therapy
  • Enhancer Elements, Genetic
  • Genetic Therapy*
  • Glucokinase / biosynthesis
  • Glucokinase / genetics*
  • Hyperglycemia / genetics
  • Hyperglycemia / metabolism
  • Hyperglycemia / therapy*
  • Male
  • Mice
  • Mice, Inbred C3H
  • Myoblasts / metabolism*
  • Myoblasts / transplantation
  • Promoter Regions, Genetic
  • Rats
  • Tissue Engineering


  • Blood Glucose
  • Glucokinase