High glucose and insulin lead to neuronal insulin resistance. Glucose transport into the neurons is achieved by regulatory induction of surface glucose transporter-3 (GLUT3) instead of the insulin. N-methyl-D aspartate (NMDA) receptor activity increases GLUT3 expression. This study explored whether an endogenous NMDA receptor antagonist, kynurenic acid (KynA) affects the neuronal cell viability at high glucose concentrations. SH-SY5Y neuroblastoma cells were exposed to 150-250 mg/dL glucose and 40 mu U/mL insulin. In KynA and N-nitro-L-arginine methyl ester (L-NAME) supplemented cultures, oxidative stress, mitochondrial metabolic activity (MIT), nitric oxide as nitrite+nitrate (NOx) and GLUT3 were determined at the end of 24 and 48-h incubation periods. Viable cells were counted by trypan blue dye. High glucose-exposed SH-SY5Y cells showed two-times more GLUT3 expression at second 24-h period. While GLUT3-stimulated glucose transport and oxidative stress was increased, total mitochondrial metabolic activity was significantly reduced. Insulin supplementation to high glucose decreased NOx synthesis and GLUT3 levels, in contrast oxidative stress increased three-fold. KynA significantly reduced oxidative stress, and increased" MIT by regulating NOx production and GLUT3 expression. KynA is a noteworthy compound, as an endogenous, specific NMDA receptor antagonist; it significantly reduces oxidative stress, while increasing cell viability at high glucose and insulin concentrations. (C) 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.