Differential control of glucoregulatory hormone response and glucose metabolism by NMDA and kainate

Khalil A. Yousef, Patrick G. Tepper, Patricia E. Molina, Naji N. Abumrad, Charles H. Lang

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26 Scopus citations


The aim of the present study was to elucidate the effect of kainate and N-methyl-d-aspartate (NMDA), two different excitatory amino acid (EAA) agonists, on glucoregulatory hormone production and whole body glucose metabolism. Rates of hepatic glucose production (HGP) and peripheral glucose utilization (GU) were assessed in overnight fasted, catheterized, conscious rats using [3-3H]glucose. At the highest dose of kainate examined (16 mg/kg), glucose levels increased 97% after 1 h; thereafter, glucose fell towards basal values but was still elevated 25% at the end of the 3 h experiment. This hyperglycemia resulted from a rapid increase in HGP that exceeded an increased rate of GU. Both HGP and GU were elevated 86% throughout the final 2 h of the experiment. NMDA induced changes in glucose flux that were qualitatively similar, yet of smaller magnitude and of shorter duration, than those produced by kainate. Kainate-induced increases in glucose metabolism were associated with an early transient hyperinsulinemia followed by a period of insulinopenia, and sustained increases in the plasma concentrations of glucagon, corticosterone, epinephrine and norepinephrine. In contrast, sustained increases in glucagon and catecholamines, as well as the late hypoinsulinemia were not detected in NMDA-treated rats. Adrenergic blockade attenuated the kainate- but not the NMDA-induced increase in glucose metabolism. These results indicate that EAA agonists that bind preferentially to different receptor subtypes produce qualitatively similar changes in glucose metabolism. Whereas the increased HGP in kainate-injected rats was associated with sustained elevations in glucagon, catecholamines and corticosterone, NMDA only transiently elevated circulating glucocorticoid levels, suggesting a different mechanism of action. These data, support the involvement of EAA in various aspects of glucoregulation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)131-140
Number of pages10
JournalBrain research
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 14 1994

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Neuroscience(all)
  • Molecular Biology
  • Clinical Neurology
  • Developmental Biology


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