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J Cereb Blood Flow Metab. 2014 Jun;34(6):945-55. doi: 10.1038/jcbfm.2014.33. Epub 2014 Feb 26.

Neurons have an active glycogen metabolism that contributes to tolerance to hypoxia.

Author information

1
1] Institute for Research in Biomedicine (IRB Barcelona), Barcelona, Spain [2] Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, University of Barcelona, Barcelona, Spain.
2
1] Institute for Research in Biomedicine (IRB Barcelona), Barcelona, Spain [2] Centro de Investigación Biomédica en Red de Diabetes y Enfermedades Metabólicas Asociadas (CIBERDEM), Barcelona, Spain.
3
Institute for Research in Biomedicine (IRB Barcelona), Barcelona, Spain.
4
1] Metabolomics Platform, CIBERDEM, Reus, Spain [2] Center for Omic Sciences (COS), Universitat Rovira i Virgili, Reus, Spain [3] Institut d'Investigació Biomédica Pere Virgili (IISPV), Reus, Spain.
5
1] Centro de Investigación Biomédica en Red de Diabetes y Enfermedades Metabólicas Asociadas (CIBERDEM), Barcelona, Spain [2] Metabolomics Platform, CIBERDEM, Reus, Spain [3] Center for Omic Sciences (COS), Universitat Rovira i Virgili, Reus, Spain [4] Institut d'Investigació Biomédica Pere Virgili (IISPV), Reus, Spain.
6
1] Institute for Research in Biomedicine (IRB Barcelona), Barcelona, Spain [2] Institució Catalana de Recerca i Estudis Avançats (ICREA), Barcelona, Spain.
7
1] Institute for Research in Biomedicine (IRB Barcelona), Barcelona, Spain [2] Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, University of Barcelona, Barcelona, Spain [3] Centro de Investigación Biomédica en Red de Diabetes y Enfermedades Metabólicas Asociadas (CIBERDEM), Barcelona, Spain.

Abstract

Glycogen is present in the brain, where it has been found mainly in glial cells but not in neurons. Therefore, all physiologic roles of brain glycogen have been attributed exclusively to astrocytic glycogen. Working with primary cultured neurons, as well as with genetically modified mice and flies, here we report that-against general belief-neurons contain a low but measurable amount of glycogen. Moreover, we also show that these cells express the brain isoform of glycogen phosphorylase, allowing glycogen to be fully metabolized. Most importantly, we show an active neuronal glycogen metabolism that protects cultured neurons from hypoxia-induced death and flies from hypoxia-induced stupor. Our findings change the current view of the role of glycogen in the brain and reveal that endogenous neuronal glycogen metabolism participates in the neuronal tolerance to hypoxic stress.

PMID:
24569689
PMCID:
PMC4050236
DOI:
10.1038/jcbfm.2014.33
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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