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

Cerebral glucose transporters expression and spatial learning in the K-ATP Kir6.2(-/-) knockout mice.

K-ATP channels formed of the Sur and Kir subunits are widely distributed in the brain. Sur1-Kir6.2 is the most common combination of K-ATP channel subunits in the brain and Kir6.2 plays an important role in glucose metabolism through pancreatic insulin secretion or hypothalamic glucose sensing. K-ATP channels have also been reported to play a role in memory processing. Therefore, the aim of the present experiment is to assess the gene and protein expression of GLUT1, GLUT3 and GLUT4 in various brain regions of Kir6.2(-/-) K-ATP knockout mice and to test their working memory performance. GLUT4 was measured using two antibodies, one recognizing an intracellular epitope and the other, an extracellular epitope. Relative to their corresponding wild type, semi-quantitative immunohistochemistry showed that GLUT4 protein expression as measured by a GLUT4 antibody recognizing an extracellular epitope was increased in the Kir6.2(-/-) K-ATP mice. However, there was only a small increase in GLUT4 labeling using the GLUT4 antibody recognizing the intracellular epitope. These results suggest a compensatory higher GLUT4 inclusion at the cellular neuronal membrane in the cerebral cortex, hippocampus and cerebellum of the Kir6.2(-/-) K-ATP knockout mice. However, there was no change in GLUT4 gene expression assessed by TaqMan PCR except for a decrease in the cerebellum of these mice. Working memory performance of the Kir6.2(-/-) K-ATP mice was disrupted at age of 12 weeks but not at 5 weeks. The mild glucose intolerance that is observed in the Kir6.2 knockout mice is unlikely to have created the memory deficits observed. Rather, in light of the effects of K-ATP channel modulators on memory, the memory deficits in the Kir6.2(-/-) K-ATP mice are more likely due to the absence of the Kir6.2 and possible disruption of the GLUT4 activity in the brain.[1]


  1. Cerebral glucose transporters expression and spatial learning in the K-ATP Kir6.2(-/-) knockout mice. Choeiri, C., Staines, W.A., Miki, T., Seino, S., Renaud, J.M., Teutenberg, K., Messier, C. Behav. Brain Res. (2006) [Pubmed]
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