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Brain Res Mol Brain Res. 1996 May;38(1):45-53.

Discrete brain areas express the insulin-responsive glucose transporter GLUT4.

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Laboratoire de Physiopathologie de la Nutrition, CNRS, Paris, France.


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.

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