Kidney disease is a major complication of diabetes, and poor glycemic control is associated with the development of diabetic nephropathy. The precise mechanisms that lead to diabetic kidney disease still remain largely unknown and are under current investigation. Because glucose transporters in the kidney play an important role in the local maintenance of intracellular glucose and plasma glucose homeostasis, the tissue distribution and regulation of glucose transporter GLUT8, a new member of the glucose transporter family with important functions in cellular survival, were examined. To understand the normal regulation of GLUT8 expression in response to metabolic signals, fasting and feeding conditions were studied. Additionally, GLUT8 expression was studied using two different models of insulin resistance, GLUT4-/- and db/db mice. GLUT8 was localized to glomerular podocytes and tubular epithelial cells in the distal portion of the nephron. Expression of GLUT8 in the kidney was influenced by plasma glucose levels in vivo. Podocytes in kidneys of diabetic db/db mice express higher levels of GLUT8 compared with nondiabetic db/m mice. Because podocytes play an important role in glomerulosclerosis development and high levels of glucose have been shown to induce apoptotic cell death in various kidney cells, these data may provide further insight into the pathogenesis of glomerulosclerosis and diabetic nephropathy.
- Diabetes mellitus
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