[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Effects of malnutrition in the brain are more pronounced during the period of growth spurt, corresponding to the suckling in rodents. Neuronal glucose transporter GLUT3 expression and acetylcholinesterase activity were studied in the brain of adult young rats (84 days old) suckled in litters formed by 6 (control group) or 12 pups (malnourished group). In the adult rats, brain weight, blood glucose levels and GLUT3 expression were decreased in malnourished group (5%, 18%, 58%, respectively, P<0.001, Student's t test) compared to the control. Increased activity of acetylcholinesterase was found in cerebral cortex homogenates and a significant interaction (P=0.019, ANOVA two-way, Tukey's test) was found between nutritional state and homogenate fraction. In summary, malnutrition during suckling period decreased GLUT3 expression and increased acetylcholinesterase activity in the rat brain that could contribute to possible cognitive deficits and changes of brain metabolic activity.