Cerebral glucose transport and metabolism in preterm human infants

J Cereb Blood Flow Metab. 1998 Jun;18(6):632-8. doi: 10.1097/00004647-199806000-00005.


Few data regarding early developmental changes in cerebral (blood-to-brain) glucose transport (CTXglc) and CMRglc are available for humans. We measured CBF, CTXglc, and CMRglc with positron emission tomography at 4 to 7 days of life in six preterm human infants whose estimated gestational age was 25 to 34 weeks. The Michaelis-Menten constants Kt and Tmax were estimated from CTXglc and the calculated cerebral capillary plasma glucose concentration. Mean CMRglc was 8.8 mumol 100 g-1 min-1. The CMRglc did not correlate with plasma glucose concentration (r = .315, P = .543), whereas CTXglc showed a significant correlation with plasma glucose concentration (r = .836, P = .038). Estimation of the Michaelis-Menten constants from the best fit to the measured data produced values of Kt = 6.0 mumol mL-1 and Tmax = 32.6 mumol 100 g-1 min-1. These values for Kt in the developing human brain are similar to those that have been reported for the mature brain of adolescent and adult humans and adult nonhuman primates, indicating the affinity of the glucose transport protein for D-glucose is similar. However, Tmax is approximately one third to one half of the comparable values for mature brain, indicating a reduced number of available luminal transporters.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Biological Transport
  • Blood Glucose / metabolism
  • Blood-Brain Barrier
  • Brain / metabolism*
  • Capillaries
  • Female
  • Gestational Age
  • Glucose / metabolism*
  • Humans
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Infant, Premature / metabolism*
  • Intensive Care, Neonatal
  • Kinetics
  • Male
  • Tomography, Emission-Computed


  • Blood Glucose
  • Glucose