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K+ channels stimulated by glucose: a new energy-sensing pathway.

Burdakov, D; (2007) K+ channels stimulated by glucose: a new energy-sensing pathway. Pflugers Arch , 454 (1) 19 - 27. 10.1007/s00424-006-0189-8.

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Insights into how sugar can turn off cell activity are emerging from studies of hypothalamic neurons. Brain states are coordinated by hypothalamic orexin/hypocretin neurons, whose loss leads to narcoleptic instability of consciousness and inability to rouse when hungry. Recent studies indicate that glucose blocks the electrical activity of orexin cells by opening K+ channels in their membrane. This new energy-sensing mechanism is so sensitive that even small changes in glucose levels, of the type occurring between meals, can turn orexin cells on and off. Glucose-stimulated K+ channels share biophysical properties with "leak" (two-pore domain) K+ channels, the newest and least understood K+ channel family. A hypothesis is outlined whereby the stimulation of brain K+ channels by sugar could relieve stress and enhance reward, although probably at a cost of increased sleepiness.

Type: Article
Title: K+ channels stimulated by glucose: a new energy-sensing pathway.
Location: Germany
DOI: 10.1007/s00424-006-0189-8
Language: English
Keywords: Animals, Brain, Energy Metabolism, Glucose, Humans, Intracellular Signaling Peptides and Proteins, Models, Biological, Neurons, Neuropeptides, Potassium Channels
UCL classification: UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Life Sciences > Div of Biosciences > Neuro, Physiology and Pharmacology
URI: http://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/1414522
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