In order to establish whether growth of glioma cells is associated with glucose transport and metabolism, we investigated expression of the glucose transporter and hexokinase, as well as glucose transport and glucose phosphorylation in rat C6 glioma cells growing at different rates. Rat C6 glioma cells were subcloned to produce four different cell lines (CL1, CL2, CL3 and CL4) differing in growth, differentiation and morphology: CL1 cells were slow-growing with an astrocytic appearance whereas CL4 cells grew rapidly and were small and spindle-shaped. Immunocytochemical analysis using glial fibrillary acidic protein and galactocerebroside antibodies revealed that CL1 and CL4 cells differentiate to astrocytes and oligodendrocytes respectively. Both of these cell lines expressed GLUT1 mRNA predominantly, whereas little GLUT3 mRNA was evident by Northern-blot analysis. The GLUT1 mRNA level was much higher in CL4 than in CL1 cells, and the uptake of 2-deoxy-D-glucose and 3-O-methyl-D-glucose by CL4 cells was markedly higher than that by CL1 cells, indicating a correlation between the growth rate, glucose transporter (GLUT1) level and glucose-transport rate of C6 glioma cells. We then studied glucose metabolism by CL1 and CL4 cells by measuring their hexokinase activities and intracellular concentrations of glucose and ATP. The mitochondrial hexokinase activity of CL4 cells was about three times higher than that of CL1 cells, whereas the cytosolic hexokinase activity of CL4 cells was only about half that of CL1 cells. As the total amount of cellular hexokinase protein in CL4 cells was only slightly higher (about 20%) than that in CL1 cells, the hexokinase protein of CL4 cells was considered to have moved from the cytosol to the mitochondrial membranes. Consistent with the increased mitochondrial hexokinase activity of CL4 cells, the intracellular glucose concentration was undetectable, and the ATP concentration was higher than that of CL1 cells, suggesting that glucose transport is the rate-limiting factor for overall glucose metabolism in rapidly growing C6 cells. Therefore the present data demonstrate that glioma cell growth is related to glucose transport, which is closely associated with glucose metabolism.

This content is only available as a PDF.