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Trends Endocrinol Metab. 2001 May-Jun;12(4):169-73.

Is there an astrocyte-neuron ketone body shuttle?

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  • 1Dept Biochemistry and Molecular Biology I, School of Biology, Complutense University, 28040 Madrid, Spain.


Ketone bodies can replace glucose as the major source of brain energy when glucose becomes scarce. Although it is generally assumed that the liver supplies extrahepatic tissues with ketone bodies, recent evidence shows that astrocytes are also ketogenic cells. Moreover, the partitioning of fatty acids between ketogenesis and ceramide synthesis de novo might control the survival/death decision of neural cells. These findings support the notion that astrocytes might supply neurons with ketone bodies in situ, and raise the possibility that astrocyte ketogenesis is a cytoprotective pathway.

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