Effects of Dietary Monosaccharides on Sympathetic Nervous System Activity in Adipose Tissues of Male Rats

James B. Young*, Jeffrey Weiss, Nadine Boufath

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

32 Scopus citations


Dietary carbohydrate activates the sympathetic nervous: system (SNS). As the mechanisms underlying this response are not fully characterized, studies were undertaken to compare SNS responses to ingestion of glucose, fructose, and galactose. SNS activity was examined using techniques of [ 3H]norepinephrine ([3H]NE) turnover in brown and white fat. In addition, gene expression for several sympathetically related proteins was also analyzed in these tissues. [3H]NE turnover in interscapular brown adipose tissue (IBAT) and retroperitoneal fat increased in response to glucose and fructose in the diet, whereas [3H]NE turnover in epididymal fat did not respond to either monosaccharide. Galactose feeding, by contrast, decreased [3H]NE turnover in IBAT, but increased it in epididymal, though not retroperitoneal, fat. Expression of GLUT4 was more abundant in IBAT and retroperitoneal fat from glucose- and fructose-fed animals than from diet- or galactose-fed rats. Chemical sympathectomy abolished the GLUT4 response in retroperitoneal fat, but was without effect on GLUT4 in epididymal fat. These studies are consistent with activation of a neural pathway by oral glucose or fructose, leading to SNS activation in IBAT and retroperitoneal fat and enhanced GLUT4 expression.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1271-1278
Number of pages8
Issue number5
StatePublished - May 2004

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Internal Medicine
  • Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism


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