Energy Metabolism of the Brain, Including the Cooperation between Astrocytes and Neurons, Especially in the Context of Glycogen Metabolism

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Falkowska, Anna ; Gutowska, Izabela ; Goschorska, Marta ; Nowacki, Przemysław ; Chlubek, Dariusz ; Baranowska-Bosiacka, Irena (2015)
  • Publisher: MDPI
  • Journal: International Journal of Molecular Sciences, volume 16, issue 11, pages 25,959-25,981 (issn: 1422-0067, eissn: 1422-0067)
  • Related identifiers: pmc: PMC4661798, doi: 10.3390/ijms161125939
  • Subject: Chemistry | glucose | brain energy metabolism | QD1-999 | Review | astrocytes | glycogen | brain | neurons | Biology (General) | QH301-705.5

Glycogen metabolism has important implications for the functioning of the brain, especially the cooperation between astrocytes and neurons. According to various research data, in a glycogen deficiency (for example during hypoglycemia) glycogen supplies are used to generate lactate, which is then transported to neighboring neurons. Likewise, during periods of intense activity of the nervous system, when the energy demand exceeds supply, astrocyte glycogen is immediately converted to lactate, some of which is transported to the neurons. Thus, glycogen from astrocytes functions as a kind of protection against hypoglycemia, ensuring preservation of neuronal function. The neuroprotective effect of lactate during hypoglycemia or cerebral ischemia has been reported in literature. This review goes on to emphasize that while neurons and astrocytes differ in metabolic profile, they interact to form a common metabolic cooperation.
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