Send to

Choose Destination
Neuroendocrinology. 2007;85(2):71-80. Epub 2007 Apr 5.

Corticosterone impairs insulin-stimulated translocation of GLUT4 in the rat hippocampus.

Author information

Department of Pharmacology, Physiology and Neuroscience, University of South Carolina School of Medicine, Columbia, SC 29208, USA.



Exposure to stress levels of glucocorticoids produces physiological responses that are characteristic of type 2 diabetes, such as peripheral insulin resistance and impairment in insulin-stimulated trafficking of glucose transporter 4 (GLUT4) in muscle and fat. In the central nervous system, stress produces neuroanatomical and neurochemical changes in the hippocampus that are associated with cognitive impairments.


In view of these observations, the current studies examined the effects of short-term (1 week) exposure of stress levels of glucocorticoids upon insulin receptor (IR) expression and signaling, including GLUT4 translocation, in the rat hippocampus.


One week of corticosterone (CORT) treatment produced insulin resistance in response to peripheral glucose challenge. In the hippocampus, IR expression was unchanged in CORT-treated rats as compared with vehicle-treated rats. However, insulin-stimulated phosphorylation of the IR, total Akt levels and total GLUT4 levels were reduced in CORT-treated rats when compared to controls. In addition, insulin-stimulated translocation of hippocampal GLUT4 to the plasma membrane was completely abolished in CORT-treated rats.


These results demonstrate that in addition to eliciting peripheral insulin resistance, short-term CORT administration impairs insulin signaling in the rat hippocampus, effects that may contribute to the deleterious consequences of hypercortisolemic/hyperglycemic states observed in type 2 diabetes.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for S. Karger AG, Basel, Switzerland
Loading ...
Support Center