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Korean Journal of Fertility and Sterility 1998;25(1):77-86.
Published online January 1, 2001.
Differential Expression of Glucose Transporter Gene in Mouse Early Embryos.
Hye won Youm, Hye kyung Byun, Gyun ji Song, Hae kwon Kim, Ho Joon Lee
The uptake of glucose for metabolism and growth is essential to most animal cells and is mediated by glucose-transporter (GLUT) proteins. The aim of this study was to determine which class of glucose transporter molecules was responsible for uptake of glucose in the mouse early embryo and at which stage the corresponding genes were expressed. In addition, co-culture system with vero cell was used to investigate the effect of the system on GLUT expression. Two-cell stage embryos were collected from the superovulated ICR female and divided into 3 groups. As a control, embryos were cultured in 0.4% BSA-T6 medium which includes glucose. For the experimental groups, embryos were cultured in either co-culture system with vero cells or glucose-free 76 medium supplemented with 0.4% BSA and pyruvate as an energy substrate. 2-cell to blastocyst stage embryos in those groups were respectively collected into microtubes (50 embryos/tube). Total RNA was extracted and RT-PCR was performed. The products were analysed after staining ethidium bromide by 2% agarose gel electrophoresis. Blastocysts were collected from each group at 120hr after hCG injection. They were fixed in 2.5% glutaraldehyde, stained with hoechst, and mounted for observation. In control, GLUT1 was expressed from 4-cell to blastocyst. GLUT2 and GLUT3 were expressed in morula and blastocyst. GLUT4 was expressed in all stages. When embryos were cultured in glucose-free medium, no significant difference was shown in the expression of GLUTI1, 2 and 3, compared to control. However GLUT4 was not expressed until morular stage. When embryos were co-cultured with vero cell, there was no significant difference in the expression of GLUT1, 2, 3 and 4 compared to control. To determine cell growth of embryos, the average cell number of blastocyst was counted. The cell number of co-culture (93.8+/-3.1, n=35) is significantly higher than that of control and glucose-free group (76.6 +/- 3.8, n=35 and 68.2+/-4.3, n=30). This study shows that the GLUT genes are expressed differently according to embryo stage. GLUTs were detectable throughout mouse preimplantation development in control and co-culture groups. However, GLUT4 was not detected from 2- to 8-cell stage but detected from morula stage in glucose-free medium, suggested that GLUT genes are expressed autocrinally in the embryo regardless of the presence of glucose as an energy substrate. In addition, co-culture system can increase the cell count of blastocyst but not improve the expression of GLUT. In conclusion, expression of GLUT is dependent on embryo stage in preimplantation embryo development.


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