Role of insulin receptor in the regulation of glucose uptake in neonatal hepatocytes

Endocrinology. 2006 Aug;147(8):3709-18. doi: 10.1210/en.2005-1663. Epub 2006 Apr 27.


The liver plays a major role in the regulation of glucose homoeostasis. Evidence from liver-specific insulin receptor knockout mice (LIRKO) suggested that insulin's direct and indirect effects on glucose utilization by the liver both require the presence of hepatic insulin receptors (IR). To address this issue, we have generated immortalized neonatal hepatocytes bearing (HIR LoxP) or not (HIR KO) IR. The lack of IR significantly decreased basal glucose uptake in neonatal hepatocytes from 3- to 14-d-old mice, and the expression of glucose transporter 1 (GLUT1), GLUT2, and glucokinase (GK) remained unchanged throughout development. HIR KO reconstituted hepatocytes with IRA but not with IRB isoform and restored basal glucose uptake up to the levels observed in HIR LoxP cells. However, both IR isoforms associated with GLUT1 or GLUT2. Overexpression of IGF-I receptor (IGF-IR) increased basal glucose uptake in neonatal hepatocytes lacking or not IR. This effect was also accompanied by its association with GLUT1 or GLUT2. Exogenous expression of GLUT4 had no effect on basal glucose uptake in neonatal hepatocytes. However, HIR LoxP hepatocytes expressing exogenous GLUT4 increased glucose uptake in the presence of insulin without showing association between GLUT4 and IR. Our data clearly indicate that IR plays a direct role in the regulation of basal glucose uptake/transport by the hepatocytes, and either type A IR or IGF-IR works on glucose uptake as a GLUT1- or GLUT2-associated cotransporter. Thus, IR mediates glucose uptake through its specific association with endogenous, but not with exogenous, glucose transporters in neonatal hepatocytes.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Animals, Newborn
  • Cell Line, Transformed
  • Exons / genetics
  • Gene Expression
  • Glucose / pharmacokinetics*
  • Glucose Transporter Type 1 / metabolism
  • Glucose Transporter Type 2 / metabolism
  • Glucose Transporter Type 4 / genetics
  • Glucose Transporter Type 4 / metabolism
  • Hepatocytes / cytology
  • Hepatocytes / physiology*
  • Insulin / metabolism
  • Insulin-Like Growth Factor I / metabolism
  • Integrases
  • Mice
  • Mice, Knockout
  • Receptor, IGF Type 1 / genetics
  • Receptor, IGF Type 1 / metabolism
  • Receptor, Insulin / genetics*
  • Receptor, Insulin / metabolism*


  • Glucose Transporter Type 1
  • Glucose Transporter Type 2
  • Glucose Transporter Type 4
  • Insulin
  • Slc2a1 protein, mouse
  • Slc2a2 protein, mouse
  • Slc2a4 protein, mouse
  • Insulin-Like Growth Factor I
  • Receptor, IGF Type 1
  • Receptor, Insulin
  • Cre recombinase
  • Integrases
  • Glucose