Differential expression of endothelial nutrient transporters (MCT1 and GLUT1) in the developing eyes of mice

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The blood-brain barrier in the neonatal brain expresses the monocarboxylate transporter (MCT)-1 rather than the glucose transporter (GLUT)-1, due to the special energy supply during the suckling period. The hyaloid vascular system, consisting of the vasa hyaloidea propria and tunica vasculosa lentis, is a temporary vasculature present only during the early development of mammalian eyes and later regresses. Although the ocular vasculature manifests such a unique developmental process, no information is available concerning the expression of endothelial nutrient transporters in the developing eye. The present immunohistochemical study using whole mount preparations of murine eyes found that the hyaloid vascular system predominantly expressed GLUT1 in the endothelium, in contrast to the brain endothelium. Characteristically, the endothelium in peripheral regions of the neonatal hyaloid vessels displayed a mosaic pattern of MCT1-immunoreactive cells scattered within the GLUT1-expressing endothelium. The proper retinal vessels first developed by sprouting angiogenesis endowed with filopodia, which were absolutely free from the immunoreactivities of GLUT1 and MCT1. The remodeling retinal capillary networks and veins in the surface layer of the retina mainly expressed MCT1 until the weaning period. Immunostaining of MCT1 in the retina revealed fine radicular processes projecting from the endothelium, differing from the MCT1-immunonegative filopodia. These findings suggest that the expression of nutrient transporters in the ocular blood vessels is differentially regulated at a cellular level and that the neonatal eyes provide an interesting model for research on nutrient transporters in the endothelium.


  • Experimental eye research

    Experimental eye research (153), 170-177, 2016-12



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