Ultracytochemical localization of the erythrocyte/HepG2-type glucose transporter (GLUT1) in cells of the blood-retinal barrier in the rat

Invest Ophthalmol Vis Sci. 1992 Feb;33(2):377-83.


The blood-retinal barrier is part of the blood-ocular barrier. Retinal pigment epithelial cells connected by tight junctions serve as an outer blood-retinal barrier, and the nonfenestrated endothelial cells of blood vessels sealed by tight junctions serve as an inner blood-retinal barrier. Using antibodies specific for the erythrocyte/HepG2-type glucose transporter (GLUT1), one isoform of facilitated-diffusion glucose transporters, it was found, by ultrastructural cytochemical examination, that GLUT1 in the rat was localized at both the apical and basolateral plasma membranes of retinal pigment epithelial cells. The fenestrated endothelial cells of the underlying choriocapillaries were negative for GLUT1. In the inner retina, GLUT1 was found at both the luminal and contraluminal plasma membranes of endothelial cells. These observations show that GLUT1 is concentrated at the critical plasma membranes of the blood-retinal barrier and may serve as the machinery for glucose transport across the barrier.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Blood-Retinal Barrier*
  • Endothelium, Vascular / chemistry*
  • Endothelium, Vascular / ultrastructure
  • Erythrocytes / chemistry*
  • Erythrocytes / ultrastructure
  • Immunoblotting
  • Immunoenzyme Techniques
  • Immunohistochemistry
  • Male
  • Monosaccharide Transport Proteins / analysis*
  • Monosaccharide Transport Proteins / ultrastructure
  • Pigment Epithelium of Eye / chemistry*
  • Pigment Epithelium of Eye / ultrastructure
  • Rabbits
  • Rats
  • Rats, Inbred Strains
  • Retina / ultrastructure


  • Monosaccharide Transport Proteins