Anomeric specificty of 3-0-methyl-D-glycopyranose against alloxan diabetes

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Science  04 Apr 1975:
Vol. 188, Issue 4183, pp. 70-71
DOI: 10.1126/science.1167978


The individual alpha and beta anomers of the nonmetabolized glucose analog 3-O-methyl-D-glucopyranose (3MG) were studied as protective agents against the alloxan toxicity to pancreatic beta cells in an in vivo rat model. The alpha 3MG provides greater protection than either the beta or the equilibrated compound, as indicated by plasma glucose concentrations 24 hours after the experiment. This specificity suggests that the beta cell membrane is extremely stereospecific, and that glucose or 3MG provide protection against alloxan injury directly by an interaction with the cell membrane and not by subsequent metabolism of the protecting compound.