Journal Article

Mechanical stress and glucose concentration modulate glucose transport in cultured rat podocytes

Barbara Lewko, Ewa Bryl, Jacek M. Witkowski, Elżbieta Latawiec, Stefan Angielski and Jan Stepinski

in Nephrology Dialysis Transplantation

Published on behalf of European Renal Association - European Dialysis and Transplant Assoc

Volume 20, issue 2, pages 306-311
Published in print February 2005 | ISSN: 0931-0509
Published online January 2005 | e-ISSN: 1460-2385 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/ndt/gfh612
Mechanical stress and glucose concentration modulate glucose transport in cultured rat podocytes

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Background. Recent studies show that mechanical stress modifies both morphology and protein expression in podocytes. Ambient glucose is another factor modulating protein synthesis in these cells. In diabetes, podocytes experience elevated glucose concentrations as well as mechanical strain generated by high intracapillary pressures. Both these factors are responsible for podocyte injury, leading to impairment of kidney glomerular function. In the present study, we examined the effects of glucose concentration and mechanical stress on glucose uptake in podocytes.

Methods. Following a 24 h pre-incubation in low (2.5 mM, LG), normal (5.6 mM, NG) or high (30 mM, HG) glucose media, cultured rat podocytes were exposed to 4 h mechanical stress. We used the labelled glucose analogue, [3H]2-deoxy-d-glucose, to measure glucose uptake. The distribution of facilitative glucose transporters GLUT2 and GLUT4 was assessed by flow cytometry.

Results. In the control (static) cells, glucose uptake was similar in the three glucose groups. In mechanically stressed podocytes, glucose uptake increased 2-fold in the LG and NG groups but increased 3-fold in the HG group. In the NG cells, mechanical load increased the membrane expression of GLUT2 and reduced the membrane-bound GLUT4. In stretched HG cells, the membrane expression of both GLUT2 and GLUT4 was decreased. High glucose decreased the plasma membrane GLUT2 content in the stretched cells, whereas both static and stretched podocytes showed an elevation in GLUT4.

Conclusion. Mechanical stress potentiated glucose uptake in podocytes and this effect was enhanced by high ambient glucose. The decreased expression of GLUT2 and GLUT4 on the surface of stretched cells suggests that the activity of other glucose transporters may be regulated by mechanical stress in podocytes.

Keywords: cultured podocytes; GLUT2; GLUT4; high glucose; mechanical stress

Journal Article.  3139 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Nephrology

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