This study tests the hypothesis that glucose tolerance in fish is related to nutrient preference and is correlated with white muscle glucose transporter and phosphorylation (hexokinase) activities. Glucose clearance was investigated in the carnivorous rainbow trout ( Oncorhynchus mykiss ) and American eel ( Anguilla rostrata ) (feeding and fasting) and the omnivorous black bullhead catfish ( Ameiurus melas ). Glucose tolerance was assessed by an intravenous glucose tolerance test, injecting 250 mg glucose/kg body weight and tracking blood glucose concentrations over 24 h. Both feeding eel and feeding catfish returned plasma glucose levels to baseline within 60 min of glucose injection. Glucose values remained elevated for more than 360 min in both the food-deprived eel and the feeding rainbow trout. Glucose transport studies in white muscle membrane vesicles provided evidence for the presence of a stereospecific, saturable glucose transporter in all three species. Affinity constants ( K m ) ranged from 8 to 14 mM while V max values ranged from 75 to 150 pmol/s/mg protein. Neither kinetic parameter differed significantly between species. Cytochalasin B and phloretin did not significantly inhibit glucose transport, implying that these transporters are unlike the mammalian muscle glucose transporters (GLUT). In fact, Northern and Western blot analyses of mRNA and protein from white and red muscles and heart did not detect a mammalian-type GLUT-1 or -4 in any of the species examined. Glucose phosphorylation indicated the presence of a hexokinase activity (low K m enzyme) but again there were no differences in kinetic parameters between species. These studies demonstrate that glucose tolerance in fish is species-dependent but none of the parameters examined clearly differentiate between the species examined. Certainly a stereospecific glucose transporter exists in white skeletal muscle of the fish studied but no molecular or kinetic similarities to the mammalian GLUTs were found. Whether these transporters are insulin-sensitive or contribute to glucose tolerance requires further molecular characterization.
General and Comparative Endocrinology – Elsevier
Published: Apr 1, 2001
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