Astrocytic glial cells from 1- and 21-day-old rat brains were established in primary culture to study the expres-sion of insulin-like growth factor-I (IGF-I) receptors and IGF- I-stimulated glucose transporter (Glut-1). Astrocytes from both age groups expressed specific high affinity IGF-I receptors, whose relative affinities for IGF-I, IGF-II, and insulin were comparable. However, the total number of binding sites and IGF-I receptor mRNA levels were 148% and 240% higher in astrocytes from 21-day-old compared with 1-day-old brains. IGF-I caused a dose-dependent stimulation of [3H]2-deoxy-D- glucose ([3H]dGlc) uptake in astrocytes from 1-day-old brains. This was associated with increases in Glut-1 protein and mRNA levels. In contrast, astrocytes from 21-day-old brains exhibited a 58% decrease in the binding capacity and a 77% decrease in the steady state levels of Glut-1 protein and its mRNA. In addition, IGF-I failed to stimulate the Glut-1 system in these cells. This lack of IGF-I effect is not due to an alteration inherent to the Glut-1 system, since 12-O-tetradecanoyl-phorbol-13-ace- tate stimulated [3H]dGlc uptake and Glut-1 protein and its mRNA levels. These observations suggest that changes in basal and IGF-I-stimulated Glut-1 system in brain astrocytes may be developmentally regulated.
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