Glucose transport into cells is facilitated by a family of transmembrane proteins: glucose transporters (GLUTs). The aim of the project is to explore the hypothesis that during fetal development the synthesis and expression of GLUTs are regulated by thyroid hormones and that the shift in expression of the different isoforms in the neonatal period is dependent on synergism of thyroid hormones and insulin. Under pathophysiological conditions (changes in extracellular glucose, insulin, T4/T3 concentration) fetal and neonatal tissues will be obtained. Protein fractions, mRNA for GLUTs and other relevant genes will be isolated and their quantities and expression will be measured/analyzed using molecular biology techniques (Western/Northern blotting, RT-PCR, RNAse protection assays, in situ- and differential hybridization).
This project and training period will be an unique combination of expertise in molecular biology to be applied in follow-up projects with a physiological scope.