Inhibition of glucose transport into brain by phlorizin, phloretin and glucose analogues

Biochim Biophys Acta. 1975 Nov 3;406(4):505-15. doi: 10.1016/0005-2736(75)90028-0.


An indicator dilution technique with 22Na+ as the intravascular marker was used to measure unidirectional transport of D-[6-3H]glucose from blood into the isolated, perfused dog brain. 18 compounds which are structurally related to glucose were tested for their ability to inhibit glucose transport. The data suggest that no single hydroxyl group is absolutely required for glucose transport, but rather that glucose binding to the carrier probably occurs through hydrogen bonding at several sites (hydroxyls on carbons 1, 3, 4 and 6). In addition, alpha-D-glucose has higher affinity for the carrier than does beta-D-glucose. A separate series of experiments demonstrated that phlorizin and phloretin are competitive inhibitors of glucose transport into brain; however, phloretin is partially competitive and inhibits at lower concentrations than does phlorizin. Inhibition by phlorizin and phloretin is mutually competitive, indicating that these compounds compete for binding to the glucose carrier. Comparison with the results reported in the literature for similar studies using the human erythrocyte demonstrates a fundamental similarity between glucose transport systems in the blood-brain barrier and erythrocyte.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Binding, Competitive
  • Biological Transport / drug effects
  • Brain / metabolism*
  • Carrier Proteins
  • Depression, Chemical
  • Dogs
  • Dose-Response Relationship, Drug
  • Glucose / analogs & derivatives
  • Glucose / metabolism*
  • Hexoses / pharmacology
  • Kinetics
  • Pentoses / pharmacology
  • Phloretin / pharmacology*
  • Sodium / metabolism


  • Carrier Proteins
  • Hexoses
  • Pentoses
  • Sodium
  • Glucose
  • Phloretin