Increased expression of neuronal glucose transporter 3 but not glial glucose transporter 1 following severe diffuse traumatic brain injury in rats

Gary P. Hamlin, Ibolja Cernak, Julie A. Wixey, Robert Vink

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52 Citations (Scopus)


Traumatic brain injury results in an increased brain energy demand that is associated with profound changes in brain glycolysis and energy metabolism. Increased glycolysis must be met by increasing glucose supply that, in brain, is primarily mediated by two members of the facilitative glucose transporter family, Glut1 and Glut3. Glut1 is expressed in endothelial cells of the blood-brain barrier (BBB) and also in glia, while Glut3 is the primary glucose transporter expressed in neurons. However, few studies have investigated the changes in glucose transporter expression following traumatic brain injury, and in particular, the neuronal and glial glucose transporter responses to injury. This study has therefore focussed on investigating the expression of the glial specific 45-kDa isoform of Glut1 and neuronal specific Glut3 following severe diffuse traumatic brain injury in rats. Following impact-acceleration injury, Glut3 expression was found to increase by at least 300% as early as 4 h after induction of injury and remained elevated for at least 48 h postinjury. The increase in Glut3 expression was clearly evident in both the cerebral cortex and cerebellum. In contrast, expression of the glial specific 45-kDa isoform of Glut1 did not significantly change in either the cerebral cortex or cerebellum following traumatic injury. We conclude that increased glucose uptake after traumatic brain injury is primarily accounted for by increased neuronal Glut 3 glucose transporter expression and that this increased expression after trauma is part of a neuronal stress response that may be involved in increasing neuronal glycolysis and associated energy metabolism to fuel repair processes.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1011-1018
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Neurotrauma
Issue number10
Publication statusPublished - 1 Oct 2001
Externally publishedYes


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