Hyperglycemia is a major risk factor for diabetic cataract formation. Effective regulation of glucose transport by the ciliary body epithelium (CBE) is pivotal to normal glycemic control in the anterior eye, which in turn affects the glucose level of the crystalline lens. The present study aimed to characterize the glucose transport mechanisms across the bovine blood-aqueous barrier (BAB) represented by the CBE. With an Ussing-type chamber, the glucose transport kinetics were measured and characterized in the presence and absence of various glucose transporter inhibitors. The saturation characteristics of the CBE to glucose were estimated from an Eadie-Hofstee plot. The mRNA expression of glucose transporters in specific regions of the bovine CBE was assessed using RT-PCR. The trans-CBE glucose flux was found to be sensitive to the glucose transporter inhibitors cytochalasin B, phloretin, and phlorizin. The transport system had a kinetic constant of 5.3 mM and a maximum velocity of 349.5 nmol·h-1·cm-2. Gene expression for GLUT1, GLUT3, GLUT4, GLUT5, and SGLT2 was observed in both the pars plana and pars plicata regions of the bovine CBE. This study demonstrates that glucose transport across the bovine CBE is primarily passive in nature. However, the novel findings of 1) the presence of a phlorizin-sensitive glucose flux and 2) gene expression for SGLT2 mean that a potential role for active glucose transport cannot be ruled out. The elucidation of the exact function of SGLT2 in the bovine CBE may shed important light on the glucose transport and physiology of the BAB and inform future studies of glycemic control in relation to diabetic cataract formation.
- Reverse transcriptase-polymerase chain reaction
- Sodium-dependent glucose transporter
- Ussing-type chamber
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Clinical Biochemistry
- Cell Biology