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Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 1992 Feb 1;89(3):1109-12.

Direct measurement of brain glucose concentrations in humans by 13C NMR spectroscopy.

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  • 1Department of Molecular Biophysics, Yale University School of Medicine, New Haven, CT 06510.

Erratum in

  • Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A 1992 Dec 15;89(24):12208.


Glucose is the main fuel for energy metabolism in the normal human brain. It is generally assumed that glucose transport into the brain is not rate-limiting for metabolism. Since brain glucose concentrations cannot be determined directly by radiotracer techniques, we used 13C NMR spectroscopy after infusing enriched D-[1-13C]glucose to measure brain glucose concentrations at euglycemia and at hyperglycemia (range, 4.5-12.1 mM) in six healthy children (13-16 years old). Brain glucose concentrations averaged 1.0 +/- 0.1 mumol/ml at euglycemia (4.7 +/- 0.3 mM plasma) and 1.8-2.7 mumol/ml at hyperglycemia (7.3-12.1 mM plasma). Michaelis-Menten parameters of transport were calculated to be Kt = 6.2 +/- 1.7 mM and Tmax = 1.2 +/- 0.1 mumol/g.min from the relationship between plasma and brain glucose concentrations. The brain glucose concentrations and transport constants are consistent with transport not being rate-limiting for resting brain metabolism at plasma levels greater than 3 mM.

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