Regulation of Glucose Uptake and Transporter Expression in the North Pacific Spiny Dogfish (Squalus suckleyi)

Title: Regulation of Glucose Uptake and Transporter Expression in the North Pacific Spiny Dogfish (Squalus suckleyi)
Authors: Deck, Courtney
Date: 2016
Abstract: Elasmobranchs (sharks, skates, and rays) are a primarily carnivorous group of vertebrates that consume very few carbohydrates and have little reliance on glucose as an oxidative fuel, the one exception being the rectal gland. This has led to a dearth of information on glucose transport and metabolism in these fish, as well as the presumption of glucose intolerance. Given their location on the evolutionary tree however, understanding these aspects of their physiology could provide valuable insights into the evolution of glucose homeostasis in vertebrates. In this thesis, the presence of glucose transporters in an elasmobranch was determined and factors regulating their expression were investigated in the North Pacific spiny dogfish (Squalus suckleyi). In particular, the presence of a putative GLUT4 transporter, which was previously thought to have been lost in these fish, was established and its mRNA levels were shown to be upregulated by feeding (intestine, liver, and muscle), glucose injections (liver and muscle), and insulin injections (muscle). These findings, along with that of increases in muscle glycogen synthase mRNA levels and muscle and liver glycogen content, indicate a potentially conserved mechanism for glucose homeostasis in vertebrates, and argue against glucose intolerance in elasmobranchs. In contrast to the other tissues examined, there was a decrease in glut4 mRNA levels within the rectal gland in response to natural feeding, a factor known to activate the gland, suggesting mRNA storage for rapid protein synthesis upon activation. A similar trend was also shown for sglt1 in the rectal gland, and the ability of GLUT and SGLT inhibitors to prevent chloride secretion solidified the importance of glucose uptake for gland function. The exogenous factor of salinity was also investigated and high levels of glut mRNA were observed within the rectal glands of low salinity-acclimated fish relative to control and high salinity fish, reiterating the idea of mRNA storage when the gland is expected to be inactive. Taken together, the results of this thesis demonstrate that glucose is an important fuel in the dogfish (and likely other elasmobranchs) and that the dogfish is fully capable of regulating its storage and circulation, contrary to prior beliefs.
CollectionThèses, 2011 - // Theses, 2011 -