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Prog Neurobiol. 2004 Aug;73(6):397-445.

Energy metabolism in mammalian brain during development.

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Department of Anatomy, School of Veterinary Science, Southwell Street, Bristol BS2 8EJ, UK.


Production of energy for the maintenance of ionic disequilibria necessary for generation and transmission of nerve impulses is one of the primary functions of the brain. This review attempts to link the plethora of information on the maturation of the central nervous system with the ontogeny of ATP metabolism, placing special emphasis on variations that occur during development in different brain regions and across the mammalian species. It correlates morphological events and markers with biochemical changes in activities of enzymes and pathways that participate in the production of ATP. The paper also evaluates alterations in energy levels as a function of age and, based on the tenet that ATP synthesis and utilization cannot be considered in isolation, investigates maturational profiles of the key processes that utilize energy. Finally, an attempt is made to assess the relevance of currently available animal models to improvement of our understanding of the etiopathology of various disease states in the human infant. This is deemed essential for the development and testing of novel strategies for prevention and treatment of several severe neurological deficits.

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