Steroids Regulate SLC2A1 and SLC2A3 to Deliver Glucose Into Trophectoderm for Metabolism via Glycolysis.
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The conceptuses (embryo/fetus and placental membranes) of pigs require energy to support elongation and implantation, and amounts of glucose and fructose increase in the uterine lumen during the peri-implantation period. Conceptuses from day 16 of pregnancy were incubated with either 14C-glucose or 14C-fructose and amounts of radiolabeled CO2 released from the conceptuses measured to determine rates of oxidation of glucose and fructose. Glucose and fructose both transport into conceptuses, and glucose is preferentially metabolized in the presence of fructose, whereas fructose is actively metabolized in the absence of glucose and to a lesser extent in the presence of glucose. Endometrial and placental expression of glucose transporters SLC2A1, SLC2A2, SCL2A3, and SLC2A4 were determined. SLC2A1 messenger RNA (mRNA) and protein, and SLC2A4 mRNA were abundant in the uterine luminal epithelium of pregnant compared to cycling gilts, and increased in response to progesterone and conceptus-secreted estrogen. SLC2A2 mRNA was expressed weakly by conceptus trophectoderm on day 15 of pregnancy, whereas SLC2A3 mRNA was abundant in trophectoderm/chorion throughout pregnancy. Therefore, glucose can be transported into the uterine lumen by SLC2A1, and then into conceptuses by SLC2A3. On day 60 of gestation, the cell-specific expression of these transporters was more complex, suggesting that glucose and fructose transporters are precisely regulated in a spatial-temporal pattern along the uterine-placental interface of pigs to maximize hexose sugar transport to the pig conceptus/placenta.