Glucose-sensitive neurons in the rat arcuate nucleus contain neuropeptide Y

Neurosci Lett. 1999 Apr 2;264(1-3):113-6. doi: 10.1016/s0304-3940(99)00185-8.


Glucose is known to regulate the activity of the hypothalamic feeding centers. Neuropeptide Y (NPY)-containing neurons in the hypothalamic arcuate nucleus (ARC) have been implicated in the stimulation of feeding. We examined the presence of glucose-sensitive neurons in the ARC and their coincidence with NPY-containing neurons. Cytosolic Ca2+ concentration ([Ca2+]i) in single ARC neurons isolated from rat hypothalamus was measured with fura-2 fluorescence imaging; the cells were then stained immunocytochemically with an anti-NPY antiserum. Lowering the glucose concentration from 10 to 1 mM increased [Ca2+]i in 36 out of 180 neurons (20%), the majority of which (34 neurons, 94%) were immunoreactive for NPY. In conclusion, the ARC contains glucose-sensitive NPY-containing neurons. The suggested role of these neurons is to transduce a reduction in the glucose concentration in the brain to the release of NPY and, subsequently, stimulation of feeding.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Arcuate Nucleus of Hypothalamus / cytology
  • Arcuate Nucleus of Hypothalamus / metabolism*
  • Calcium / metabolism
  • Cytosol / metabolism
  • Glucose / metabolism
  • Glucose / physiology*
  • Immunohistochemistry
  • Male
  • Neurons / metabolism*
  • Neuropeptide Y / metabolism*
  • Osmolar Concentration
  • Rats
  • Rats, Sprague-Dawley


  • Neuropeptide Y
  • Glucose
  • Calcium