Glucose transporter 1, distribution in the brain and in neural disorders: its relationship with transport of neuroactive drugs through the blood-brain barrier

Biochem Genet. 2005 Apr;43(3-4):175-87. doi: 10.1007/s10528-005-1510-5.


Facilitative glucose transport is mediated by one or more of the members of the closely related glucose transporter (GLUT) family. Thirteen members of the GLUT family have been described thus far. GLUT1 is a widely expressed isoform that provides many cells with their basic glucose requirement. It is also the primary transporter across the blood-brain barrier. This review describes the distribution and expression of GLUT1 in brain in different pathophysiological conditions including Alzheimer's disease, epilepsy, ischemia, or traumatic brain injury. Recent investigations show that GLUT1 mediates the transport of some neuroactive drugs, such as glycosylated neuropeptides, low molecular weight heparin, and D-glucose derivatives, across the blood-brain barrier as a delivery system. By utilizing such highly specific transport mechanisms, it should be possible to establish strategies to regulate the entry of candidate drugs.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Alzheimer Disease / physiopathology
  • Animals
  • Blood-Brain Barrier / physiology*
  • Brain Chemistry*
  • Brain Diseases / physiopathology*
  • Brain Injuries / physiopathology
  • Brain Ischemia / physiopathology
  • Epilepsy / physiopathology
  • Glucose / metabolism
  • Glucose Transporter Type 1
  • Glycopeptides / metabolism
  • Humans
  • Monosaccharide Transport Proteins / biosynthesis
  • Monosaccharide Transport Proteins / physiology*
  • Peptides / metabolism


  • Glucose Transporter Type 1
  • Glycopeptides
  • Monosaccharide Transport Proteins
  • Peptides
  • SLC2A1 protein, human
  • Glucose