Ontogeny of the erythroid/HepG2-type glucose transporter (GLUT-1) in the rat nervous system

Document Type

Journal Article

Publication Date



Developmental Brain Research








Blood-brain barrier; Brain endothelium; Brain vasculogenesis; Glucose transport; GLUT-1 transporter; Immunocytochemical localization; Nervous system development


Central nervous system (CNS) microvessels of adult mammals have an unusually high density of the facilitative glucose transporter GLUT-1. Most systemic microvessels and those of the brain's circumventricular organs, which lack 'barrier' properties, do not express a high density of GLUT-1. Thus, a high GLUT-1 density is a marker of adult brain endothelium. To determine the stage at which CNS microvessels acquire GLUT-1, we studied by immunocytochemistry GLUT-1 ontogeny in the rat CNS from embryonic day (E) 11 to senescence. At E11, before blood vessels invaded the neuroectodermal tube, GLUT-1 immunoreactivity was already evident in the perineural plexus of vessels and in most of the vascular endothelium of the embryo. GLUT-1 immunoreactivity was also evident in the neuroectoderm. The neuroectoderm gradually lost GLUT-1 expression, and at about E16, GLUT-1 immunoreactivity was no longer detectable in most of the neuroectodermal epithelium, while CNS microvessels had increased their GLUT-1 immunoreactivity. By birth, GLUT-1 immunoreactivity in the CNS was restricted to the endothelium, the epithelium (but not the endothelium) of the choroid plexus, and tanycytes. This cellular distribution of GLUT-1 did not change much between birth and senescence despite considerable postnatal brain development and the increased brain capillary density. Our results suggest that while a CNS factor(s) may not have a role in the induction of the high expression of GLUT-1 in CNS endothelium, such a factor(s) is probably important in maintaining the high level of GLUT-1 in these endothelia. © 1993.

This document is currently not available here.