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Biomed Res Int. 2014;2014:472459. doi: 10.1155/2014/472459. Epub 2014 May 4.

Fatty acids in energy metabolism of the central nervous system.

Author information

1
Institute of Molecular Biology and Biophysics, Siberian Division of the Russian Academy of Medical Sciences (SB RAMS), 2 Timakova st., Novosibirsk 630117, Russia.
2
Department of Surgery, Drexel University College of Medicine, Philadelphia, PA, USA.

Abstract

In this review, we analyze the current hypotheses regarding energy metabolism in the neurons and astroglia. Recently, it was shown that up to 20% of the total brain's energy is provided by mitochondrial oxidation of fatty acids. However, the existing hypotheses consider glucose, or its derivative lactate, as the only main energy substrate for the brain. Astroglia metabolically supports the neurons by providing lactate as a substrate for neuronal mitochondria. In addition, a significant amount of neuromediators, glutamate and GABA, is transported into neurons and also serves as substrates for mitochondria. Thus, neuronal mitochondria may simultaneously oxidize several substrates. Astrocytes have to replenish the pool of neuromediators by synthesis de novo, which requires large amounts of energy. In this review, we made an attempt to reconcile β-oxidation of fatty acids by astrocytic mitochondria with the existing hypothesis on regulation of aerobic glycolysis. We suggest that, under condition of neuronal excitation, both metabolic pathways may exist simultaneously. We provide experimental evidence that isolated neuronal mitochondria may oxidize palmitoyl carnitine in the presence of other mitochondrial substrates. We also suggest that variations in the brain mitochondrial metabolic phenotype may be associated with different mtDNA haplogroups.

PMID:
24883315
PMCID:
PMC4026875
DOI:
10.1155/2014/472459
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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