Regulation of glucose transport in cultured schwann cells

Paolo Magnani, Thommey P. Thomas, Gihan Tennekoon, George H. DeVries, Douglas A. Greene, Frank C. Brosius

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

18 Scopus citations


Glucose is the major source of metabolic energy in the peripheral nerve. Energy derived from glucose is mostly utilized for axonal repolarization. One route by which glucose may reach the axon is by crossing the Schwann cells that initially surround the axons. Considering the ability of neurons to control many glial cell functions, we postulated that Schwann cell glucose transporters might be transiently regulated by axonal contact. Glucose transport was studied in a cultured, differentiated rat Schwann cell line stably expressing SV40 T antigen regulated by a synthetic mouse metallothione- in promoter. 3[H]-2-deoxy-D-glucose uptake was measured in cultured cells in basal and in various experimental conditions. Glucose transporter gene expression was determined after RNA isolation from cultured cells through Northern and RNAse protection assay. In vitro, Schwann cells were found to express high-affinity, insulin-insensitive, facilitative glucose transporters and predominantly GLUT1 mRNA. Schwann cell 2- deoxyglucose uptake was increased by axolemmal membranes or forskolin but unchanged by elevated glucose levels. Regulation of Schwann cell glucose transporters by axolemma and their resistance to glucose-induced down- regulation suggest extrinsic rather than intrinsic regulation that might enhance Schwann cell vulnerability to glucotoxicity.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)28-36
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of the Peripheral Nervous System
Issue number1
StatePublished - 1998
Externally publishedYes


  • Diabetes mellitus
  • Glucose transport
  • Neuropathy
  • Peripheral nerve
  • Rat
  • Schwann cells

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuroscience(all)
  • Clinical Neurology


Dive into the research topics of 'Regulation of glucose transport in cultured schwann cells'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this