Marín-Juez, R., Rovira, M., Crespo, D., van der Vaart, M., Spaink, H.P., Planas, J.V. (2015) GLUT2-mediated glucose uptake and availability are required for embryonic brain development in zebrafish. Journal of cerebral blood flow and metabolism : official journal of the International Society of Cerebral Blood Flow and Metabolism. 35(1):74-85.
Glucose transporter 2 (GLUT2; gene name SLC2A2) has a key role in the regulation of glucose dynamics in organs central to metabolism. Although GLUT2 has been studied in the context of its participation in peripheral and central glucose sensing, its role in the brain is not well understood. To decipher the role of GLUT2 in brain development, we knocked down slc2a2 (glut2), the functional ortholog of human GLUT2, in zebrafish. Abrogation of glut2 led to defective brain organogenesis, reduced glucose uptake and increased programmed cell death in the brain. Coinciding with the observed localization of glut2 expression in the zebrafish hindbrain, glut2 deficiency affected the development of neural progenitor cells expressing the proneural genes atoh1b and ptf1a but not those expressing neurod. Specificity of the morphant phenotype was demonstrated by the restoration of brain organogenesis, whole-embryo glucose uptake, brain apoptosis, and expression of proneural markers in rescue experiments. These results indicate that glut2 has an essential role during brain development by facilitating the uptake and availability of glucose and support the involvement of glut2 in brain glucose sensing.Journal of Cerebral Blood Flow & Metabolism advance online publication, 8 October 2014; doi:10.1038/jcbfm.2014.171.