Lab Anim Res.  2017 Jun;33(2):114-118. 10.5625/lar.2017.33.2.114.

Immunohistochemical localization of glucose transporter 1 and 3 in the scrotal and abdominal testes of a dog

  • 1Department of Anatomy and Cell Biology, College of Veterinary Medicine, Seoul National University, Seoul, Korea.
  • 2Department of Surgery, School of Medicine, Kangwon National University, Chuncheon, Korea.
  • 3Laboratory of Theriogenology and Biotechnology, Department of Veterinary Clinical Sciences, College of Veterinary Medicine, Seoul National University, Seoul, Korea.
  • 4Department of Veterinary Internal Medicine and Geriatrics, College of Veterinary Medicine, Kangwon National University, Chuncheon, Korea.
  • 5Department of Anatomy, College of Veterinary Medicine, Kangwon National University, Chuncheon, Korea.
  • 6BK21 PLUS Program for Creative Veterinary Science Research, and Research Institute for Veterinary Science, Seoul National University, Seoul, Korea.
  • 7Institute of Green Bio Science & Technology, Seoul National University, Pyeongchang, Korea.
  • 8Emergence Center for Food-Medicine Personalized Therapy System, Advanced Institutes of Convergence Technology, Seoul National University, Suwon, Korea.


Glucose is essential for testicular function; the uptake of carbohydrate-derived glucose by cells is mediated by glucose transporters (GLUTs). In the present study, we investigated the activity of GLUT1 and GLUT3, the two main isoforms of GLUTs found in testes, in the left scrotal and right abdominal testes of a German Shepherd dog. Immunohistochemical analysis showed that GLUT1 immunoreactivity was absent in the scrotal and abdominal testes. In contrast, weak to moderate GLUT3 immunoreactivity was observed in mature spermatocytes as well as spermatids in the scrotal testis. In the abdominal testis, relatively strong GLUT3 immunoreactivity was detected in Leydig cells only and was absent in mature spermatocytes and spermatids. GLUT3 immunoreactivity was significantly decreased in the tubular region of abdominal testis and significantly increased in the extra-tubular (interstitial) region of abdominal testis compared to observations in the each region of scrotal testis, respectively. These results suggest that GLUT3 is the major glucose transporter in the testes and that abdominal testes may increase the uptake of glucose into interstitial areas, leading to an increased risk of developing cancer.


Glucose transporter; dog; spermatocytes; spermatids; leydig cells; unilateral cryptorchidism

MeSH Terms

Glucose Transport Proteins, Facilitative*
Leydig Cells
Protein Isoforms
Glucose Transport Proteins, Facilitative
Protein Isoforms


  • Figure 1 Immunohistochemistry for GLUT1 in the control (scrotal, A) and cryptorchid (abdominal, B) testes. GLUT1 immunoreactivity is not detectable in the testes of both groups and GLUT1 immunoreactivity is not significantly different between groups. Scale bar=50 µm.

  • Figure 2 Immunohistochemistry for GLUT3 in the control (scrotal, A and C) and cryptorchid (abdominal, B and D) testes. GLUT3 immunoreactivity is observed in mature spermatocytes and spermatids of the control testis whilst in the cryptorchid testis, GLUT3 immunoreactivity is only in the Leydig cells. Scale bar=100 µm (A and B), 25 µm (C and D). Relative optical density (ROD) of GLUT3 immunoreactivity in tubular (E) and extra-tubular (interstitial, F) regions per section is expressed as a percentage of the control group (10 sections, *P<0.05, which was significantly different from the control group). All data are represented as the mean±SE.

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