Increased intracellular localization of brain GLUT-1 transporter in response to ethanol during chick embryogenesis

F. M. Carver, I. A. Shibley, D. S. Miles, J. S. Pennington, S. N. Pennington

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12 Scopus citations


Fetal exposure to ethanol is associated with growth retardation of the developing central nervous system. We have previously described a chick model to study the molecular mechanism of ethanol effects on glucose metabolism in ovo. Total membrane fractions were prepared from day 4, day 5, and day 7 chick embryos exposed in ovo to ethanol or to vehicle. By Western blotting analysis, ethanol exposure caused a mean 7- to 10-fold increase in total GLUT-1 and a 2-fold increase in total GLUT-3. However, glucose uptake by ethanol-treated cells increased by only 10%. Analysis of isolated plasma (PM) and intracellular (IM) membranes from day 5 cranial tissue revealed a mean 25% decrease in GLUT-1 in the PM and a 66% increase in the IM in the ethanol group vs. control. The amount of PM GLUT-3 was unchanged but that of IM GLUT- 3 was significantly decreased. The data suggest that GLUT-3 cell surface expression may be resistant to the suppressive effects of ethanol in the developing brain of ethanol-treated embryos. The overall increase in GLUT-1 may reflect a deregulation of the transporter induced by ethanol exposure. The increased IM localization and decreased amount of PM GLUT-1 may be a mechanism used by the ethanol-treated cell to maintain normal glucose uptake despite the overall increased level of the transporter.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)E750-E759
JournalAmerican Journal of Physiology - Endocrinology and Metabolism
Issue number4 40-4
StatePublished - Oct 1999

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism
  • Physiology
  • Physiology (medical)


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