The glucose transporter GLUT2 is expressed predominantly in the liver. Previous studies have shown that glucose increases GLUT2 mRNA concentration in primary cultures of rat hepatocytes. Since insulin controls the glucose metabolism in the liver, it could be involved in the regulation of GLUT2 gene expression. In vivo, hyperinsulinaemia induced a transient inhibitory effect on liver GLUT2 gene expression, the maximal inhibition of GLUT2 mRNA concentration (93 +/- 6%) being observed after 6 h. When hyperglycaemia was associated with hyperinsulinaemia, the decrease in liver GLUT2 mRNA concentration was partially prevented. The respective effects of glucose and insulin were studied in vitro by primary culture of rat hepatocytes. Insulin alone exerted a transient inhibitory effect on GLUT2 mRNA concentration. When insulin and glucose (10-20 mM) were associated, the stimulatory effect of glucose on GLUT2 gene expression was predominant. In conclusion, the present study shows that GLUT2 mRNA concentration was conversely regulated by insulin and glucose, both in vitro and in vivo.

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