The hyperglycemia of maternal diabetes suppresses the glucose transporter-1 (GLUT1) facilitative glucose transporter 49-66% in preimplantation embryos. Glucose uptake is reduced and apoptosis is activated. We hypothesized that the reduction of embryonic GLUT1 may play a key role in the malformations of diabetic embryopathy. Therefore, we produced GLUT1-deficient transgenic mice [i.e., antisense-GLUT1 (GT1AS)] to determine whether GLUT1 deficiency alone could reproduce the growth defects. Early cell division of fertilized mouse eggs injected with GT1AS was markedly impaired, P < 0.001 vs. controls. Two populations of preimplantation embryos obtained from GT1AS × GT1AS heterozygote matings exhibited reduction of the 2-deoxyglucose uptake rate: one by 50% (presumed heterozygotes, P < 0.001 vs. control) and the other by 95% (presumed homozygotes, P < 0.001 vs. heterozygotes). Embryonic GLUT1 deficiency in the range reported with maternal diabetes was associated with growth retardation and developmental malformations similar to those described in diabetes-exposed embryos: intrauterine growth retardation (31.1%), caudal regression (9.8%), anencephaly with absence of the head (6.6%), microphthalmia (4.9%), and micrognathia (1.6%). Reduced body weight (small embryos, <70% of the nontransgenic body weight) was accompanied by other malformations and a 56% reduction of GLUT1 protein, P < 0.001 vs. nonsmall embryos (body weight <70% normal). The heart, brain, and kidneys of embryonic day 18.5 GT1AS embryos exhibited 24-51% reductions of GLUT1 protein. The homozygous GT1AS genotype was lethal during gestation. Reduced embryonic GLUT1 was associated with the appearance of apoptosis. Therefore, GLUT1 deficiency may play a role in producing embryonic malformations resulting from the hyperglycemia of maternal diabetes. Late gestational macrosomia was absent, apparently requiring a different mechanism.
|Original language||English (US)|
|Number of pages||6|
|Journal||Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America|
|State||Published - Dec 23 2003|
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