Brain cells are dependent on glucose and oxygen for energy. We investigated the effects of hypoxia, glucose deprivation, and hypoxia plus glucose deprivation on mRNA and protein levels of glucose transporter (GLUT1) and GLUT3 and 2-deoxyglucose (2-DG) uptake in primary cultures of rat neurons and astroglia. Hypoxia for 24 hours did not significantly affect cell viability but increased neuronal GLUT1 and GLUT3 mRNA up to 40-fold and fivefold, respectively, above control levels. Similar changes in GLUT1 mRNA were measured in glia. The effects of hypoxia on GLUT1 and GLUT3 mRNA were reversible. The increase in GLUT1 mRNA could be detected within 20 minutes of hypoxia and was blocked by actinomycin D. Nuclear runoff transcription assays showed that hypoxia did not alter the transcription rate of GLUT1. However, hypoxia enhanced the stability of GLUT1 mRNA in neurons (half-life [t(1/2)]> 12 hours) compared with normoxic conditions (t(1/2) ~ 10.4 hours), suggesting the existence of a posttranscriptional mechanism for the regulation of GLUT1 transcript levels. Twenty-four hours of normoxia and 1.0 mmol/L glucose increased neuronal GLUT1 mRNA less than threefold above basal, but 24 hours of glucose and oxygen deprivation increased GLUT1 over 111-fold above basal. Induction of neuronal GLUT1 mRNA was temporally associated with Increased levels of GLUT1 protein and with stimulation of intracellular 2-DG accumulation. We conclude that hypoxia reversibly increases the transcript levels of GLUT1 and GLUT3 in rat brain cells and stimulates GLUT1 transcript levels by posttranscriptional mechanisms. Although glucose deprivation alone produces minimal effects on GLUT mRNA levels, hypoxia plus glucose deprivation synergize to markedly increase GLUT gene expression.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism