D- and L-glucose transport across the pulmonary epithelium

D. Wangensteen, M. Bartlett

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19 Scopus citations


Previously we observed what appeared to be augmented D-glucose transport across the pulmonary epithelium. To investigate this phenomenon we placed fluid containing L-[3H]glucose and D-[U-14C]glucose in the alveoli of isolated Ringer-perfused lungs from 4-wk-old rabbits. The appearance of radioactivity in recirculating glucose-free perfusate was measured. 3H appearing in the perfusate was associated with L-glucose. 14C, however, was associated with three compounds, with approximate molecular weights of 180 (glucose), 300, and 560. The nonglucose species were not identified. This 14C movement was inhibited by phlorizin, but not phloretin, in the alveolar fluid. A similar pattern of 14C movement occurred when D-[U-14C]glucose was replaced with 2-deoxy-D[U14C]-glucose, but not with methyl-α-D-[U-14C]glucopyranoside. The activation energy of the 14C metabolism-transport process was found to be 34 kcal/mol, and L-glucose transport showed an unusual temperature dependence, with maximum conductance at 15°C. It appears that some D-glucose crosses the pulmonary epithelium as does L-glucose. However, most enters epithelial cells and is incorporated into larger molecules which enter the vascular but not the alveolar space.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1722-1730
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Applied Physiology Respiratory Environmental and Exercise Physiology
Issue number6
StatePublished - 1984


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