A new ATP-sensitive K+ channel-independent mechanism is involved in glucose-excited neurons of mouse arcuate nucleus

Diabetes. 2004 Nov;53(11):2767-75. doi: 10.2337/diabetes.53.11.2767.


Glucose is known to modify electrical activity of neurons in different hypothalamic areas such as the arcuate nucleus (ARC) or the ventromedian nucleus. In these structures, it has been demonstrated that glucose-induced excitation of neurons involves ATP-sensitive K(+) (K(ATP)) channel closure. The aim of the present study was to determine whether ARC neurons were able to detect high extracellular glucose concentrations and which mechanisms were involved in this detection by using whole-cell and cell-attached patch-clamp techniques in acute mouse brain slices. An increase from 5 to 20 mmol/l glucose stimulated 19% and inhibited 9% of ARC neurons. Because of the high-glucose concentrations used, we called these neurons high-glucose-excited (HGE) and high-glucose-inhibited (HGI) neurons, respectively. Glucose-induced depolarization of HGE neurons was not abolished by tetrodotoxin treatment and was correlated with an increase of membrane conductance that reversed at approximately 20 mV. Experiments with diazoxide, pinacidil, or tolbutamide showed that K(ATP) channels were present and functional in most of the ARC neurons but were mostly closed at 5 mmol/l glucose. Moreover, HGE neurons were also present in ARC of Kir6.2 null mice. These results suggested that ARC neurons have the ability to sense higher glucose concentrations than 5 mmol/l through a new K(ATP) channel-independent mechanism.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Arcuate Nucleus of Hypothalamus / physiology*
  • Cesium / pharmacology
  • Chlorides / pharmacology
  • Glucose / pharmacology
  • Glucose / physiology*
  • In Vitro Techniques
  • Membrane Potentials / drug effects
  • Membrane Potentials / physiology
  • Mice
  • Mice, Knockout
  • Neurons / drug effects
  • Neurons / physiology*
  • Patch-Clamp Techniques
  • Potassium Channels, Inwardly Rectifying / deficiency
  • Potassium Channels, Inwardly Rectifying / genetics
  • Potassium Channels, Inwardly Rectifying / physiology*
  • Tetrodotoxin / pharmacology


  • Chlorides
  • Kir6.2 channel
  • Potassium Channels, Inwardly Rectifying
  • Cesium
  • Tetrodotoxin
  • cesium chloride
  • Glucose