, Volume 41, Issue 7, pp 821-828

Fructose uptake in rat adipocytes: GLUT5 expression and the effects of streptozotocin-induced diabetes


Previous studies have shown that rat adipocytes possess the capacity to take up fructose by a mechanism that is distinct from that involved in the transport of glucose. In this investigation we report that rat adipocytes express the GLUT5 fructose transporter and that it is responsible for mediating a substantial component ( ∼ 80 %) of the total cellular fructose uptake. This proposition is based on the finding that only 21 % of the total fructose uptake was cytochalasin B (CB) sensitive which most likely reflects transport via GLUT1 and/or GLUT4. Consistent with this suggestion we found (i) that insulin caused a small, but significant stimulation in fructose uptake ( ∼ 35 %) which was abolished in the presence of CB and (ii) that 3-O-methyl glucose inhibited fructose uptake to a level comparable with that observed in the presence of CB. GLUT5 was found to be localised only in the adipocyte plasma membrane and, unlike GLUT4 or GLUT1, its cell surface abundance was not modulated by insulin. GLUT5 expression fell substantially (by ∼ 75 %) in adipocytes of streptozotocin-diabetic rats and was accompanied by a reduction in fructose uptake by approximately 50 %. Treatment of streptozotocin-diabetic rats with sodium orthovanadate for a period of 3 days led to a significant reduction in blood glycaemia by approximately 40 % and a partial restoration in both GLUT5 expression and adipocyte fructose uptake. We suggest that fructose uptake in rat adipocytes is principally mediated by GLUT5 in an insulin- and CB-insensitive manner and that expression of GLUT5 in rat adipocytes may be regulated by changes in blood glycaemia. [Diabetologia (1998) 41: 821–828]

Received: 14 November 1997 and in revised form: 5 March 1998