Immunocytochemical Study on the Translocation Mechanism of Glucose Transporters by Insulin

  • Hah, Jong-Sik (Department of Physiology, College of Medicine Ewha Womans University) ;
  • Kim, Ku-Ja (Department of Physiology, College of Medicine Ewha Womans University)
  • Published : 1993.12.01


The mechanism of insulin action to increase glucose transport is attributed to glucose transporter translocation from intracellular storage pools to the plasma membrane in insulin-sensitive cells. The present study was designed to visualize the redistribution of the glucose transporter by means of an immunogold labelling method. Our data clearly show that glucose transporter molecules were visible by this method. According to the method this distribution of glucose transporters between cell surface and intracellular pool was different in adipocytes. The glucose transporter molecules were randomly distributed at the cell surface whereas the molecules at LDM were farmed as clusters. By insulin treatment the number of homogeneous random particles increased at the cell surface whereas the cluster forms decreased at the intracellular storage pools. It suggests that the active molecules needed to be evenly distributed far effective function and that the inactive molecules in storage pools gathered and termed clusters until being transferred to the plasma membrane.