Induced pluripotent stem cell-derived cells model brain microvascular endothelial cell glucose metabolism
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Glucose transport from the blood into the brain is tightly regulated by brain microvascular endothelial cells (BMEC), which also use glucose as their primary energy source. To study how BMEC glucose transport contributes to cerebral glucose hypometabolism in diseases such as Alzheimer’s disease, it is essential to understand how these cells metabolize glucose. Human primary BMEC (hpBMEC) can be used for BMEC metabolism studies; however, they have poor barrier function and may not recapitulate in vivo BMEC function. iPSC-derived BMEC-like cells (hiBMEC) are readily available and have good barrier function but may have an underlying epithelial signature. In this study, we examined differences between hpBMEC and hiBMEC glucose metabolism using a combination of dynamic metabolic measurements, metabolic mass spectrometry, RNA sequencing, and Western blots. hiBMEC had decreased glycolytic flux relative to hpBMEC, and the overall metabolomes and metabolic enzyme levels were different between the two cell types. However, hpBMEC and hiBMEC had similar glucose metabolism, including nearly identical glucose labeled fractions of glycolytic and TCA cycle metabolites. Treatment with astrocyte conditioned media and high glucose increased glycolysis in both hpBMEC and hiBMEC, though hpBMEC decreased glycolysis in response to fluvastatin while hiBMEC did not. Together, these results suggest that hiBMEC can be used to model cerebral vascular glucose metabolism, which expands their use beyond barrier models.
Partial funding for Open Access provided by the UMD Libraries' Open Access Publishing Fund.