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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

Physiological and molecular characteristics of rat hypothalamic ventromedial nucleus glucosensing neurons.

To evaluate potential mechanisms for neuronal glucosensing, fura-2 Ca(2+) imaging and single-cell RT-PCR were carried out in dissociated ventromedial hypothalamic nucleus (VMN) neurons. Glucose-excited (GE) neurons increased and glucose-inhibited (GI) neurons decreased intracellular Ca(2+) ([Ca(2+)](i)) oscillations as glucose increased from 0.5 to 2.5 mmol/l. The Kir6.2 subunit mRNA of the ATP-sensitive K(+) channel was expressed in 42% of GE and GI neurons, but only 15% of nonglucosensing (NG) neurons. Glucokinase ( GK), the putative glucosensing gatekeeper, was expressed in 64% of GE, 43% of GI, but only 8% of NG neurons and the GK inhibitor alloxan altered [Ca(2+)](i) oscillations in approximately 75% of GK-expressing GE and GI neurons. Insulin receptor and GLUT4 mRNAs were coexpressed in 75% of GE, 60% of GI, and 40% of NG neurons, although there were no statistically significant intergroup differences. Hexokinase-I, GLUT3, and lactate dehydrogenase-A and -B were ubiquitous, whereas GLUT2, monocarboxylate transporters-1 and -2, and leptin receptor and GAD mRNAs were expressed less frequently and without apparent relationship to glucosensing capacity. Thus, although GK may mediate glucosensing in up to 60% of VMN neurons, other regulatory mechanisms are likely to control glucosensing in the remaining ones.[1]


  1. Physiological and molecular characteristics of rat hypothalamic ventromedial nucleus glucosensing neurons. Kang, L., Routh, V.H., Kuzhikandathil, E.V., Gaspers, L.D., Levin, B.E. Diabetes (2004) [Pubmed]
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