Objective—To investigate the expression and localization of glucose transporter 4 (GLUT4) and fatty acid translocase (FAT/CD36) in equine skeletal muscle.
Sample Population—Muscle biopsy specimens obtained from 5 healthy Dutch Warmblood horses.
Procedures—Percutaneous biopsy specimens were obtained from the vastus lateralis, pectoralis descendens, and triceps brachii muscles. Cryosections were stained with combinations of GLUT4 and myosin heavy chain (MHC) specific antibodies or FAT/CD36 and MHC antibodies to assess the fiber specific expression of GLUT4 and FAT/CD36 in equine skeletal muscle via indirect immunofluorescent microscopy.
Results—Immunofluorescent staining revealed that GLUT4 was predominantly expressed in the cytosol of fast type 2B fibers of equine skeletal muscle, although several type 1 fibers in the vastus lateralis muscle were positive for GLUT4. In all muscle fibers examined microscopically, FAT/CD36 was strongly expressed in the sarcolemma and capillaries. Type 1 muscle fibers also expressed small intracellular amounts of FAT/CD36, but no intracellular FAT/CD36 expression was detected in type 2 fibers.
Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—In equine skeletal muscle, GLUT4 and FAT/CD36 are expressed in a fiber type selective manner. ( Am J Vet Res 2004;65:951–956)