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Am J Physiol Endocrinol Metab. 2002 Jul;283(1):E20-8.

Effect of acute hyperketonemia on the cerebral uptake of ketone bodies in nondiabetic subjects and IDDM patients.

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Uppsala University PET Centre, University Hospital Uppsala, S-75185 Uppsala, Sweden.


Using R-beta-[1-(11)C]hydroxybutyrate and positron emission tomography, we studied the effect of acute hyperketonemia (range 0.7-1.7 micromol/ml) on cerebral ketone body utilization in six nondiabetic subjects and six insulin-dependent diabetes mellitus (IDDM) patients with average metabolic control (HbA(1c) = 8.1 +/- 1.7%). An infusion of unlabeled R-beta-hydroxybutyrate was started 1 h before the bolus injection of R-beta-[1-(11)C]hydroxybutyrate. The time course of the radioactivity in the brain was measured during 10 min. For both groups, the utilization rate of ketone bodies was found to increase nearly proportionally with the plasma concentration of ketone bodies (1.0 +/- 0.3 micromol/ml for nondiabetic subjects and 1.3 +/- 0.3 micromol/ml for IDDM patients). No transport of ketone bodies from the brain could be detected. This result, together with a recent study of the tissue concentration of R-beta-hydroxybutyrate in the brain by magnetic resonance spectroscopy, indicate that, also at acute hyperketonemia, the rate-limiting step for ketone body utilization is the transport into the brain. No significant difference in transport and utilization of ketone bodies could be detected between the nondiabetic subjects and the IDDM patients.

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