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Endocrinology. 2000 Jan;141(1):375-84.

Localization of glucokinase-like immunoreactivity in the rat lower brain stem: for possible location of brain glucose-sensing mechanisms.

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Laboratory of Animal Reproduction, Graduate School of Bioagricultural Sciences, Nagoya University, Japan.


Pancreatic glucokinase (GK) is considered an important element of the glucose-sensing unit in pancreatic beta-cells. It is possible that the brain uses similar glucose-sensing units, and we employed GK immunohistochemistry and confocal microscopy to examine the anatomical distribution of GK-like immunoreactivities in the rat brain. We found strong GK-like immunoreactivities in the ependymocytes, endothelial cells, and many serotonergic neurons. In the ependymocytes, the GK-like immunoreactivity was located in the cytoplasmic area, but not in the nucleus. The GK-positive ependymocytes were found to have glucose transporter-2 (GLUT2)-like immunoreactivities on the cilia. In addition, the ependymocytes had GLUT1-like immunoreactivity on the cilia and GLUT4-like immunoreactivity densely in the cytoplasmic area and slightly in the plasma membrane. In serotonergic neurons, GK-like immunoreactivity was found in the cytoplasm and their processes. The present results raise the possibility that these GK-like immunopositive cells comprise a part of a vast glucose-sensing mechanism in the brain.

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