Expression of Na+-D-glucose cotransporter SGLT2 in rodents is kidney-specific and exhibits sex and species differences

Am J Physiol Cell Physiol. 2012 Apr 15;302(8):C1174-88. doi: 10.1152/ajpcell.00450.2011. Epub 2012 Jan 18.


With a novel antibody against the rat Na(+)-D-glucose cotransporter SGLT2 (rSGLT2-Ab), which does not cross-react with rSGLT1 or rSGLT3, the ∼75-kDa rSGLT2 protein was localized to the brush-border membrane (BBM) of the renal proximal tubule S1 and S2 segments (S1 > S2) with female-dominant expression in adult rats, whereas rSglt2 mRNA expression was similar in both sexes. Castration of adult males increased the abundance of rSGLT2 protein; this increase was further enhanced by estradiol and prevented by testosterone treatment. In the renal BBM vesicles, the rSGLT1-independent uptake of [(14)C]-α-methyl-D-glucopyranoside was similar in females and males, suggesting functional contribution of another Na(+)-D-glucose cotransporter to glucose reabsorption. Since immunoreactivity of rSGLT2-Ab could not be detected with certainty in rat extrarenal organs, the SGLT2 protein was immunocharacterized with the same antibody in wild-type (WT) mice, with SGLT2-deficient (Sglt2 knockout) mice as negative control. In WT mice, renal localization of mSGLT2 protein was similar to that in rats, whereas in extrarenal organs neither mSGLT2 protein nor mSglt2 mRNA expression was detected. At variance to the findings in rats, the abundance of mSGLT2 protein in the mouse kidneys was male dominant, whereas the expression of mSglt2 mRNA was female dominant. Our results indicate that in rodents the expression of SGLT2 is kidney-specific and point to distinct sex and species differences in SGLT2 protein expression that cannot be explained by differences in mRNA.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Castration / methods
  • Estradiol / pharmacology
  • Female
  • Galactose / metabolism
  • Glucose / metabolism
  • Kidney / drug effects
  • Kidney / metabolism
  • Male
  • Mice
  • Mice, Inbred C57BL
  • Microvilli / drug effects
  • Microvilli / metabolism
  • RNA, Messenger / genetics
  • Rats
  • Rats, Wistar
  • Sex Factors
  • Sodium-Glucose Transporter 2 / biosynthesis*
  • Sodium-Glucose Transporter 2 / genetics
  • Sodium-Glucose Transporter 2 / metabolism
  • Symporters / biosynthesis*
  • Symporters / genetics
  • Symporters / metabolism
  • Testosterone / pharmacology


  • RNA, Messenger
  • Sodium-Glucose Transporter 2
  • Symporters
  • Testosterone
  • Estradiol
  • Glucose
  • Galactose