Effect of glucose availability on glucose transport in bovine mammary epithelial cells

Animal. 2012 Mar;6(3):488-93. doi: 10.1017/S1751731111001893.


Primary bovine mammary epithelial cells (BMEC) were cultured in media containing varying concentrations of glucose, to determine the effects of glucose availability on glucose transport and its mechanism in bovine mammary gland. The BMEC incubated with 10 and 20 mM glucose had twofold greater glucose uptake than that with 2.5 mM glucose (P < 0.05). Increased glucose availability enhanced the cell proliferation (P < 0.05). As the glucose uptake is mediated by facilitative glucose transporters (GLUTs), the expression of GLUT mRNA was investigated. Compared with the control (2.5 mM), 5 and 10 mM glucose did not influence the abundance of GLUT1 mRNA (P < 0.05), whereas 20 mM glucose decreased the GLUT1 mRNA expression in the BMEC (P < 0.05). The expression of GLUT8 mRNA was not affected by any concentration of glucose (P > 0.05). As GLUTs are coupled with hexokinases (HKs) in regulating glucose uptake, the expression of HKs and their activities were also studied. The HK activity was greater in 5, 10 and 20 mM glucose than that in 2.5 mM glucose (P < 0.05). The expression of HK2 mRNA rather than HK1 mRNA was detected in the BMEC; however, the abundance of HK2 mRNA was not elevated by any concentrations of glucose compared with control (P > 0.05). Furthermore, addition of 3-bromopyruvate (30, 50 or 70 μM), an inhibitor of HK2, resulted in the decrease of glucose uptake and cell proliferation at both 2.5 and 10 mM glucose (P < 0.05). Therefore, the glucose concentrations may affect glucose uptake partly by altering the activity of HKs, and HK2 may play an important role in the regulation of glucose uptake in the BMEC.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Biological Transport
  • Cattle
  • Cell Proliferation
  • Epithelial Cells / metabolism*
  • Female
  • Glucose / metabolism*
  • Glucose Transport Proteins, Facilitative / metabolism*
  • Hexokinase / metabolism
  • Mammary Glands, Animal / metabolism*
  • RNA, Messenger / metabolism
  • Real-Time Polymerase Chain Reaction


  • Glucose Transport Proteins, Facilitative
  • RNA, Messenger
  • Hexokinase
  • Glucose