A glucose sensor role for glucokinase in anterior pituitary cells

Dorothy Zelent, Maria L. Golson, Brigitte Koeberlein, Roel Quintens, Leentje Van Lommel, Carol Buettger, Heather Weik-Collins, Rebecca Taub, Joseph Grimsby, Frans Schuit, Klaus H. Kaestner, Franz M. Matschinsky

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

38 Scopus citations


Enzymatic activity of glucokinase was demonstrated, quantitated, and characterized kinetically in rat and mouse pituitary extracts using a highly specific and sensitive spectrometric assay. A previously proposed hypothesis that the glucokinase gene might be expressed in the pituitary corticotrophic cells was therefore reexamined using mRNA in situ hybridization and immunohistochemical techniques. No evidence was found that corticotrophs are glucokinase positive, and the identity of glucokinase-expressing cells remains to be determined. The findings do, however, suggest a novel hypothesis that a critical subgroup of anterior pituitary cells might function as glucose sensor cells and that direct fuel regulation of such cells may modify the classical indirect neuroendocrine pathways that are known to control hormone secretion from anterior pituitary cells.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1923-1929
Number of pages7
Issue number7
StatePublished - Jul 2006
Externally publishedYes


  • GKA, glucokinase activator
  • GST, glutathione S-transferase
  • POMC, proopiomelanocortin

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Internal Medicine
  • Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism


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