Glucose transporter expression differs between bovine monocyte and macrophage subsets and is influenced by milk production

Eger, M.; Hussen, J.; Dänicke, Sven GND; Schuberth, H.-J.; Breves, G.

The peripartal period of dairy cows is characterized by negative energy balance and higher incidences of infectious diseases such as mastitis or metritis. With the onset of lactation, milk production is prioritized and large amounts of glucose are transported into the mammary gland. Decreased overall energy availability might impair the function of monocytes acting as key innate immune cells, which give rise to macrophages and dendritic cells and link innate and adaptive immunity. Information on glucose requirements of bovine immune cells is rare. Therefore, this study aims to evaluate glucose transporter expression of the 3 bovine monocyte subsets (classical, intermediate, and nonclassical monocytes) and monocyte-derived macrophages and to identify influences of the peripartal period. Blood samples were either collected from nonpregnant healthy cows or from 16 peripartal German Holstein cows at d −14, +7, and +21 relative to parturition. Quantitative real-time PCR was applied to determine mRNA expression of glucose transporters (GLUT) 1, GLUT3, and GLUT4 in monocyte subsets and monocyte-derived macrophages. The low GLUT1 and GLUT3 expression in nonclassical monocytes was unaltered during differentiation into macrophages, whereas in classical and intermediate monocytes GLUT expression was downregulated. Alternatively activated M2 macrophages consumed more glucose compared with classically activated M1 macrophages. The GLUT4 mRNA was only detectable in unstimulated macrophages. Neither monocytes nor macrophages were insulin responsive. In the peripartum period, monocyte GLUT1 and GLUT3 expression and the GLUT3/GLUT1 ratio were negatively correlated with lactose production. The high-affinity GLUT3 transporter appears to be the predominant glucose transporter on bovine monocytes and macrophages, especially in the peripartal period when blood glucose levels decline. Glucose transporter expression in monocytes is downregulated as a function of lactose production, which might impair monocyte to macrophage differentiation.

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Eger, M. / Hussen, J. / Dänicke, Sven / et al: Glucose transporter expression differs between bovine monocyte and macrophage subsets and is influenced by milk production. 2015.

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