Astrocyte-neuron lactate shuttle (ANLS) is a pathway that supplies glycogen-derived lactate to active neurons via monocarboxylate transporter 2 (MCT2), and is important for maintaining brain functions. Our study revealed alterations of ANLS with hippocampal hyper-glycogen levels and downregulated MCT2 protein levels underlying hippocampal dysfunctions as a complication in type 2 diabetic (T2DM) animals. Since T2DM rats exhibit brain dysfunctions involving several brain regions, we examined whether there might also be T2DM effects on ANLS’s disturbances in other brain loci. OLETF rats exhibited significantly higher glycogen levels in the hippocampus, hypothalamus, and cerebral cortex than did LETO rats. MCT2 protein levels in OLETF rats decreased significantly in the hippocampus and hypothalamus compared to their controls, but a significant correlation with glycogen levels was only observed in the hippocampus. This suggests that the hippocampus may be more vulnerable to T2DM compared to other brain regions in the context of ANLS disruption.
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