The ascorbic acid transporter SVCT2 is expressed in slow-twitch skeletal muscle fibres

Histochem Cell Biol. 2009 May;131(5):565-74. doi: 10.1007/s00418-008-0552-2. Epub 2009 Jan 6.


Ascorbic acid, the reduced form of vitamin C, functions as a potent antioxidant as well as in cell differentiation. Ascorbate is taken up by mammalian cells through the specific sodium/ascorbate co-transporters SVCT1 and SVCT2. Although skeletal muscle contains about 50% of the whole-body vitamin C, the expression of SVCT transporters has not been clearly addressed in this tissue. In this work, we analysed the expression pattern of SVCT2 during embryonic myogenesis using the chick as model system. We cloned the chick orthologue of SVCT2 (cSVCT2) that shares 93% identity with the mouse transporter. cSVCT2 mRNA and protein are expressed during chick embryonic muscle development. Immunohistochemical analyses showed that SVCT2 is preferentially expressed by type I slow-twitch muscle fibres throughout chick myogenesis as well as in post-natal skeletal muscles of several species, including human. Our results suggest that SVCT2-mediated uptake of ascorbate is relevant to the oxidative nature of type I muscle fibres.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Amino Acid Sequence
  • Animals
  • Ascorbic Acid / metabolism*
  • Base Sequence
  • Chick Embryo
  • Molecular Sequence Data
  • Muscle Development / physiology
  • Muscle Fibers, Slow-Twitch / cytology
  • Muscle Fibers, Slow-Twitch / metabolism*
  • Organic Anion Transporters, Sodium-Dependent / metabolism*
  • Sequence Alignment
  • Sodium-Coupled Vitamin C Transporters
  • Symporters / metabolism*


  • Organic Anion Transporters, Sodium-Dependent
  • SLC23A1 protein, human
  • SLC23A2 protein, human
  • Slc23a1 protein, mouse
  • Slc23a2 protein, mouse
  • Sodium-Coupled Vitamin C Transporters
  • Symporters
  • Ascorbic Acid

Associated data

  • GENBANK/FJ577639