Decreased vascular glucose transporter expression and glucose uptake in DOCA-salt hypertension

Kevin B. Atkins, Douglas Johns, Stephanie Watts, R. Clinton Webb, Frank C. Brosius

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

28 Scopus citations


Objective: Because glucose uptake and metabolism can affect vascular smooth muscle cell function, we proposed that animals with hypertension might develop alterations in glucose transporter expression in vascular smooth muscle cells that were responsible for some of the vascular abnormalities characteristic of hypertension. Design and method: Male Sprague-Dawley rats (250-300 g) were left uni-nephrectomized and either implanted or not with deoxycorticosterone acetate (DOCA, 200 mg/kg) impregnated silastic. All animals were fed normal rat chow. The DOCA-implanted rats were given water supplemented to 1% NaCl and 0.2% KCl for 7, 14 or 28 days. Results: The insulin-response glucose transporter (GLUT4) polypeptide levels were depressed several-fold in aortae and carotid arteries from DOCA-salt hypertensive rats compared with sham rats. Uptake of the glucose analog, 2-deoxyglucose (2-DOG), was also reduced 530% in hypertensive compared with sham aortae. There were no changes in GLUT4 expression in other tissues in the DOCA-salt animals, nor were there significant changes in aortae from spontaneously hypertensive rat/stroke prone animals. As previously demonstrated, carotid arteries from DOCA-salt animals exhibited a significant increased contractile sensitivity to ergonovine. Inhibition of glucose metabolism with 2-DOG in sham arteries caused a marked enhancement of contractile responsiveness to ergonovine, whereas 2-DOG had no effect on the already enhanced contractility of DOCA-salt arteries, suggesting that reduction in glucose uptake and metabolism substantially increases the contractile response of DOCA-salt arteries. Conclusions: Alterations in glucose uptake and metabolism in vascular smooth muscle cells may participate in the contractile abnormalities characteristic of certain forms of hypertension.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1581-1587
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Hypertension
Issue number9
StatePublished - 2001
Externally publishedYes


  • Glucose transporter
  • Glucose uptake
  • Hypertension
  • Vascular reactivity

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Internal Medicine
  • Physiology
  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine


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