Discrete brain areas express the insulin-responsive glucose transporter GLUT4

Brain Res Mol Brain Res. 1996 May;38(1):45-53. doi: 10.1016/0169-328x(95)00306-d.


Whether or not glucose utilization in the brain is insulin-dependent is still a controversial issue. We looked for the presence of the insulin-sensitive glucose transporter (GLUT4) in rat brain and obtained the following results: (1) poly(A) RNAs from the hypothalamus and anterior medulla oblongata hybridize with a cDNA probe for GLUT4; (2) reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) on RNA from various brain nuclei detects GLUT4 transcripts; (3) immunocytochemistry, using a polyclonal antibody to GLUT4; reveals a specific immunostaining pattern, whereas both electronic microscopy and double immunofluorescence staining, using a neurofilament protein marker, indicate a neuronal localization. These results are discussed in terms of a putative neuromodulator role of insulin, via glucose utilization, in brain areas involved in the regulation of fuel metabolism.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • Amino Acid Sequence
  • Animals
  • Blotting, Northern
  • Brain Chemistry / physiology*
  • Female
  • Glucose Transporter Type 4
  • Immunohistochemistry
  • Insulin / physiology*
  • Molecular Sequence Data
  • Monosaccharide Transport Proteins / analysis*
  • Monosaccharide Transport Proteins / genetics
  • Muscle Proteins*
  • Nerve Tissue Proteins / analysis*
  • Nerve Tissue Proteins / genetics
  • Polymerase Chain Reaction / methods
  • RNA, Messenger / analysis*
  • Rats
  • Rats, Wistar
  • Transcription, Genetic


  • Glucose Transporter Type 4
  • Insulin
  • Monosaccharide Transport Proteins
  • Muscle Proteins
  • Nerve Tissue Proteins
  • RNA, Messenger
  • Slc2a4 protein, rat