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Neurochem Res. 2012 Nov;37(11):2562-8. doi: 10.1007/s11064-012-0857-3. Epub 2012 Aug 10.

Significance of short chain fatty acid transport by members of the monocarboxylate transporter family (MCT).

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Physiologisches Institut, University of Tübingen, Gmelinstr. 5, 72076 Tübingen, Germany.


Metabolism of short-chain fatty acids (SCFA) in the brain, particularly that of acetate, appears to occur mainly in astrocytes. The differential use has been attributed to transport, but the extent to which transmembrane movement of SCFA is mediated by transporters has not been investigated systematically. Here we tested the possible contribution of monocarboxylate transporters to SCFA uptake by measuring fluxes with labelled compounds and by following changes of the intracellular pH in Xenopus laevis oocytes expressing the isoforms MCT1, MCT2 or MCT4. All isoforms mediated significant transport of acetate. Formate, however, was transported only by MCT1. The contribution of MCT1 to SCFA transport was determined by using phloretin as a high-affinity inhibitor, which allowed a paired comparison of oocytes with and without active MCT1.

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