Glucose utilization and glucose transporter proteins GLUT-1 and GLUT-3 in brains of diabetic (db/db) mice

Susan J. Vannucci, E. Michael Gibbs, Ian A. Simpson

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95 Scopus citations


This study describes the effects of diabetes on brain growth, cerebral glucose utilization (CGU), and the glucose transporter proteins GLUT-1 and GLUT-3 in the genetically diabetic db/db mouse. Mice were studied at 5 and 10 wk of age and compared with age-matched nondiabetic littermates. At 5 wk, db/db mice were not yet hyperglycemic, but their body weights were 27.5% greater than those of their nondiabetic littermates. By 10 wk, db/db mice were both hyperglycemic (blood glucose values of 39.3 ± 4.3 vs. 12.1 ± 2.1 mmol/l for db/db and control, respectively) and obese, with a twofold increase in body weight. Significant reductions in brain weight were observed at 5 wk (15% decrease in brain wet wt), and no further brain growth was observed, such that by 10 wk, brains of db/db mice were 25% smaller than those of control mice; brain wet weight-to-dry weight ratios were slightly reduced. Global rates of CGU, as determined with 2-[14C]deoxyglucose, were significantly reduced in the 10-wk diabetic mice. Levels of brain glucose and brain-to-blood glucose ratios were increased in 5- and 10-wk db/db mice, reflecting adequate glucose delivery to the brain. Blood-brain barrier GLUT- 1 levels were unchanged, and mRNA levels were regionally increased. The expression of the neuronal glucose transporter GLUT-3 was not reduced to a significant extent in brains of db/db mice. The results of this study indicate that the db/db mouse has markedly decelerated brain growth accompanied by global reductions in glucose metabolism that are not due to reductions in glucose transport capacity.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)E267-E274
JournalAmerican Journal of Physiology - Endocrinology and Metabolism
Issue number2 35-2
StatePublished - Feb 1997

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism
  • Physiology
  • Physiology (medical)


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