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Expression of the insulin-responsive glucose transporter isoform 4 in blastocysts of C57/BL6 mice


Glucose is the most important energy substrate for mammalian blastocysts. In preimplantation embryos glucose uptake is mainly mediated by facilitative glucose transporter molecules (GLUT). Employing RT-PCR in 3.5-day-old mouse blastocysts of strain C57/BL6 we have investigated the expression of the GLUT isoforms 1–4 and 8. We could not only detect GLUT 1, 3 and 8 but, in contrast to earlier studies, also the insulin-responsive isoform 4. GLUT2 was not expressed. The specificity for GLUT4 amplification was verified by sequence analysis. GLUT4 protein was localized by immunohistochemistry with two GLUT4 antibodies. It was found in ICM and trophoblast cells in the cytoplasmic compartment with a strong perinuclear staining. This is the first report on the expression of the insulin-sensitive GLUT4 isoform in mouse preimplantation embryos.

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Glucose transporter


Inner cell mass




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We thank Dr. Petra Neuhaus for providing the mouse embryos. This work was supported in part by a grant from the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (GRK 416/2 “Adaptive physiologisch-biochemische Reaktionen auf ökologisch relevante Wirkstoffe”) and by the Roux Research Programme of the MLU Faculty of Medicine (FKZ 2/7).

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Correspondence to A. Navarrete Santos.

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Tonack, S., Fischer, B. & Navarrete Santos, A. Expression of the insulin-responsive glucose transporter isoform 4 in blastocysts of C57/BL6 mice. Anat Embryol 208, 225–230 (2004).

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  • Glucose transporter isoforms
  • GLUT4
  • Mammalian preimplantation development
  • Mouse blastocyst