Examining glucose transport in single vascular smooth muscle cells with a fluorescent glucose analog

P. G. Lloyd, C. D. Hardin, M. Sturek

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

33 Scopus citations


Changes in vascular smooth muscle glucose transport are thought to contribute to the pathogenesis of vascular disease in conditions such as diabetes, yet no single-cell assay for glucose uptake by VSM exists. Therefore, we examined the uptake of the fluorescent glucose analog 2-[N-(7- nitrobenz-2-oxa-1,3-diazol-4-yl)amino]-2-deoxyglucose (2-NBDG) in isolated pig vascular smooth muscle cells (VSMC) using digital imaging microscopy. Uptake of 2-NBDG by VSMC was inhibited by D-glucose but not by L-glucose, suggesting that 2-NBDG enters VSMC via glucose transporters. Uptake of 2-NBDG was linear in the presence of 10 mM D-glucose (n=6, R2=0.9408)but not in its absence (n=4, R2=0.9993), indicating that 2-NBDG is not metabolized and accumulates within the cells. 2-NBDG fluorescence in VSMC was often non- uniform and appeared to represent binding of 2-NBDG to some cytoplasmic component. The present study demonstrates that 2-NBDG is a useful tool for examining vascular smooth muscle glucose uptake at the single cell level.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)401-410
Number of pages10
JournalPhysiological Research
Issue number6
StatePublished - Dec 1 1999



  • Diabetes
  • Digital imaging microscopy
  • Fluorescent glucose analogs

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physiology

Cite this