D-glucose-sensitive neurosecretory cells of the crab Cancer borealis and negative feedback regulation of blood glucose level

Regina M. Glowik, Jorge Golowasch, Rainer Keller, Eve Marder

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52 Scopus citations


We studied the effects of glucose on cultured X-organ neurons of the crab Cancer borealis using single-electrode current- and voltage-clamp techniques. A subpopulation of the cells responded to D-glucose with a hyperpolarization. These cells, but not glucose-insensitive cells, showed immunoreactivity to crustacean hyperglycemic hormone (CHH), the hormone responsible for the elevation of blood glucose levels in crustaceans. Glucose-sensitive cells were also inhibited by serotonin and γ-aminobutyric acid but were not affected by dopamine and Leu-enkephalin. The response was specific for D-glucose, with an EC50 of 0.25 mmol l-1. No response was seen to L-glucose, sucrose, galactose, mannose or fructose. The glucose response persisted in the absence of extracellular Na+ and in low-Ca2+/Mn2+ saline. In voltage-clamp experiments, D-glucose evoked a small current with a reversal potential close to that of voltage-dependent K+ currents. We conclude that D-glucose activates a K+ current in CHH-immunoreactive cells that, in normal saline, induces a hyperpolarization. We propose that this enables glucose to regulate directly the release of CHH into the hemolymph, thus constituting a negative feedback mechanism regulating hemolymph glucose concentration.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1421-1431
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Experimental Biology
Issue number10
StatePublished - May 1997
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
  • Physiology
  • Aquatic Science
  • Animal Science and Zoology
  • Molecular Biology
  • Insect Science


  • CHH
  • Cancer borealis
  • Glucose
  • K current
  • Neurosecretion
  • X-organ
  • crab


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