Blood-brain transfer of glucose and glucose analogs in newborn rats

J Neurochem. 1986 May;46(5):1417-28. doi: 10.1111/j.1471-4159.1986.tb01757.x.


Little is known of the selectivity of the blood-brain barrier at birth. Hexoses are transported through the barrier by a facilitating mechanism. To study the capacity of this mechanism to distinguish between analogs of D-glucose, we compared the transport of fluorodeoxyglucose, deoxyglucose, glucose, methylglucose, mannose, galactose, mannitol, and iodoantipyrine across the cerebral capillary endothelium in newborn Wistar rats. Cerebral blood flow, glucose consumption, and the blood-brain permeabilities of the hexoses were 25-50% of the adult values but the ratios between the permeabilities of the individual hexoses were similar to the ratios observed in adult rats. The mannitol clearance into brain was considerably higher than in adult rats (about 10-fold), indicating a higher endothelial permeability to small polar nonelectrolytes. The brain water content was higher in newborn than in adult rats and was associated with a higher steady-state distribution of labeled methylglucose between brain and blood. Hexose concentrations were determined relative to whole blood because the apparent erythrocyte membrane permeability to glucose was as high as in humans and thus considerably higher than in adult rats. The half-saturation concentration of glucose transport across the blood-brain barrier was considerably higher than in adult rats, about three-fold, suggesting that net blood-brain glucose transfer is less sensitive to blood glucose fluctuation in newborn than in adult rats.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Animals, Newborn / metabolism*
  • Biological Transport
  • Blood Glucose / metabolism
  • Blood-Brain Barrier*
  • Brain / metabolism
  • Cell Membrane Permeability
  • Cerebrovascular Circulation
  • Deoxyglucose / analogs & derivatives
  • Deoxyglucose / metabolism
  • Erythrocytes / metabolism
  • Fluorodeoxyglucose F18
  • Glucose / analogs & derivatives
  • Glucose / metabolism*
  • Hexoses / metabolism
  • Kinetics
  • Metabolic Clearance Rate
  • Rats
  • Rats, Inbred Strains


  • Blood Glucose
  • Hexoses
  • Fluorodeoxyglucose F18
  • Deoxyglucose
  • Glucose