Effect of fluorocitrate on cerebral oxidation of lactate and glucose in freely moving rats
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Glucose is the primary carbon source to enter the adult brain for catabolic and anabolic reactions. Some studies suggest that astrocytes may metabolize glucose to lactate; the latter serving as a preferential substrate for neurons, especially during neuronal activation. The current study utilizes the aconitase inhibitor fluorocitrate to differentially inhibit oxidative metabolism in glial cells in vivo. Oxidative metabolism of 14C-lactate and 14C-glucose was monitored in vivo using microdialysis and quantitating 14CO2 in the microdialysis eluate following pulse labeling of the interstitial glucose or lactate pool. After establishing a baseline oxidation rate, fluorocitrate was added to the perfusate. Neither lactate nor glucose oxidation was affected by 5 micromol/L fluorocitrate. However, 20 and 100 micromol/L fluorocitrate reduced lactate oxidation by 55 +/- 20% and 68 +/- 12%, respectively (p < 0.05 for both). Twenty and 100 micromol/L fluorocitrate reduced 14C-glucose oxidation by 50 +/- 14% (p < 0.05) and 24 +/- 19% (ns), respectively. Addition of non-radioactive lactate to (14)C-glucose plus fluorocitrate decreased 14C-glucose oxidation by an additional 29% and 38%, respectively. These results indicate that astrocytes oxidize about 50% of the interstitial lactate and about 35% of the glucose. By subtraction, neurons metabolize a maximum of 50% of the interstitial lactate and 65% of the interstitial glucose.
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