Rats intracerebroventricularily (icv) treated with streptozotocin (STZ), shown to generate an insulin resistant brain state, were used as an animal model for the sporadic form of Alzheimer's disease (sAD). Previously, we showed in an in vivo study that 3 months after STZ icv treatment hippocampal adult neurogenesis (AN) is impaired. In the present study, we examined the effects of STZ on isolated adult hippocampal neural stem cells (NSCs) using an in vitro approach. We revealed that 2.5 mM STZ inhibits the proliferation of NSCs as indicated by reduced number and size of neurospheres as well as by less BrdU-immunoreactive NSCs. Double immunofluorescence stainings of NSCs already being triggered to start with their differentiation showed that STZ primarily impairs the generation of new neurons, but not of astrocytes. For revealing mechanisms possibly involved in mediating STZ effects we analyzed expression levels of insulin/glucose system-related molecules such as the glucose transporter (GLUT) 1 and 3, the insulin receptor (IR) and the insulin-like growth factor (IGF) 1 receptor. Applying quantitative Real time-PCR (qRT-PCR) and immunofluorescence stainings we showed that STZ exerts its strongest effects on GLUT3 expression, as GLUT3 mRNA levels were found to be reduced in NSCs, and less GLUT3-immunoreactive NSCs as well as differentiating cells were detected after STZ treatment. These findings suggest that cultured NSCs are a good model for developing new strategies to treat nerve cell loss in AD and other degenerative disorders.