Glucose transporters at the blood-nerve barrier are associated with perineurial cells and endoneurial microvessels

David Z. Gerhart, Lester R Drewes

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

40 Scopus citations


The blood-nerve barrier consists of continuous layers of cells linked by tight junctions and includes the endothelial cells which line the endoneurial capillaries and the perineurial cells which surround fascicles of nerve fibers. A facilitated transport carrier protein allows d-glucose to penetrate the barrier. To determine the specific cellular location of the transport system, an antiserum to a synthetic peptide corresponding to the carboxylterminus of the glucose transporter protein was used for light and electron immunocytochemical analyses. Glucose transporters were abundant both in endoneurial capillaries and the perineurial sheath. In perineurium, transporters were located in the plasma membranes and cytoplasm of the perineurial cells. Approximately two-thirds of the transporters associated with perineurial cells were localized in the plasma membranes. Perineurial cells are thus similar to cerebral endothelial cells in that they lack a large intracellular pool of transporters which might be sensitive to hormonal regulation. The presence of hexose carriers in perineurium suggests that glucose transport from epineurium to endoneurium may play a significant role in the metabolism of peripheral nerve fibers. These results support the concept that the blood-nerve barrier serves as an important nutrient delivery system.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)46-50
Number of pages5
JournalBrain Research
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 29 1990


  • Blood-nerve barrier
  • Dog
  • Endothelial cell
  • Glucose transporter
  • Perineurium
  • Peripheral nerve


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