Modulation of expression of glucose transporters GLUT3 and GLUT1 by potassium and N-methyl-d-aspartate in cultured cerebellar granule neurons

Fran Maher, Ian Simpson

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Depolarization is known to stimulate neuronal oxidative metabolism. As glucose is the primary fuel for oxidative metabolism in the brain, the entry of glucose into neural cells is a potential control point for any regulatory events in brain metabolism. Therefore, the effects of depolarizing stimuli, high K+ and N-methyl-D-aspartate (NMDA), were examined on the functional expression of glucose transporter isoforms GLUT1 and GLUT3 in primary cultured cerebellar granule neurons. Higher levels of glucose transport activity were observed in neurons cultured in 25 mM KCl (K25) compared to those in 5 and 15 mM KCl (K5 and K15). The elevated glucose transport activity correlated with increased levels of GLUT3 protein and, to a lesser extent, GLUT1. Both GLUT3 and GLUT1 were regulated at the level of mRNA expression. Addition of NMDA to K5 and K15 cultures increased both glucose uptake and GLUT3 protein levels, with smaller changes in GLUT1. NMDA effects were not additive with K25 effects. All these changes were observed only with chronic exposure of neurons to high K+ or NMDA; no acute effects on glucose uptake or transporter expression were found. Thus, chronic depolarization of primary cerebellar granule neurons acts as a stimulus for the expression of the neuronal GLUT3 glucose transporter isoform.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)369-375
Number of pages7
JournalMolecular and Cellular Neurosciences
Issue number4
StatePublished - Jan 1 1994


All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Molecular Biology
  • Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience
  • Cell Biology

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