• Glut-1;
  • mouse;
  • embryo;
  • hyperglycemia;
  • heart



Maternal diabetes exposes embryos to periods of hyperglycemia. Glucose is important for normal cardiogenesis, and Glut-1 is the predominant glucose transporter in the embryo.


Pregnant mice were exposed to 6 or 12 hr hyperglycemia during organogenesis using intraperitoneal (IP) injections of D-glucose on gestational day (GD) 9.5 (plug = GD 0.5). Embryos were examined for morphology and total cardiac protein, and embryonic hearts were evaluated for Glut-1 protein and mRNA expression immediately after treatment (GD 9.75, GD 10.0), as well as on GD 10.5 and GD 12.5.


IP glucose injections were effective in producing sustained maternal hyperglycemia. Maternal hyperglycemia for 6 or 12 hr on GD 9.5, followed by normoglycemia, produced a decrease in overall size and total cardiac protein in embryos evaluated on GD 10.5 but no difference on GD 12.5. Cardiac Glut-1 expression was immediately upregulated in embryos exposed to 6 or 12 hr maternal hyperglycemia. On GD 10.5, cardiac Glut-1 expression was not different in embryos exposed to maternal hyperglycemia for 6 hr but was downregulated in embryos exposed for 12 hr. On GD 12.5, cardiac Glut-1 expression in embryos exposed to maternal hyperglycemia on GD 9.5 for 6 or 12 hr, followed by normoglycemia, was not different from controls. The temporal pattern was the same for Glut-1 protein and mRNA expression.


Hyperglycemia-induced alterations in Glut-1 expression likely interfere with balance of glucose available to the embryonic heart that may affect cardiac morphogenesis. Birth Defects Research (Part A), 2004. © 2004 Wiley-Liss, Inc.