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Int J Mol Sci. 2015 Nov 27;16(12):28194-217. doi: 10.3390/ijms161226095.

Old Things New View: Ascorbic Acid Protects the Brain in Neurodegenerative Disorders.

Author information

1
Instituto de Bioquímica y Microbiología, Facultad de Ciencias, Universidad Austral de Chile, Valdivia 5090000, Chile. adriana.covarrubias@postgrado.uach.cl.
2
Center for Interdisciplinary Studies on the Nervous system (CISNe), Universidad Austral de Chile, Casilla 547, Valdivia 5090000, Chile. adriana.covarrubias@postgrado.uach.cl.
3
Instituto de Bioquímica y Microbiología, Facultad de Ciencias, Universidad Austral de Chile, Valdivia 5090000, Chile. aacuna.sanmartin@alumnos.uach.cl.
4
Center for Interdisciplinary Studies on the Nervous system (CISNe), Universidad Austral de Chile, Casilla 547, Valdivia 5090000, Chile. aacuna.sanmartin@alumnos.uach.cl.
5
Instituto de Bioquímica y Microbiología, Facultad de Ciencias, Universidad Austral de Chile, Valdivia 5090000, Chile. felipe.beltran@alumnos.uach.cl.
6
Center for Interdisciplinary Studies on the Nervous system (CISNe), Universidad Austral de Chile, Casilla 547, Valdivia 5090000, Chile. felipe.beltran@alumnos.uach.cl.
7
Instituto de Bioquímica y Microbiología, Facultad de Ciencias, Universidad Austral de Chile, Valdivia 5090000, Chile. leandro.torres@postgrado.uach.cl.
8
Center for Interdisciplinary Studies on the Nervous system (CISNe), Universidad Austral de Chile, Casilla 547, Valdivia 5090000, Chile. leandro.torres@postgrado.uach.cl.
9
Instituto de Bioquímica y Microbiología, Facultad de Ciencias, Universidad Austral de Chile, Valdivia 5090000, Chile. macastro@uach.cl.
10
Center for Interdisciplinary Studies on the Nervous system (CISNe), Universidad Austral de Chile, Casilla 547, Valdivia 5090000, Chile. macastro@uach.cl.

Abstract

Ascorbic acid is a key antioxidant of the Central Nervous System (CNS). Under brain activity, ascorbic acid is released from glial reservoirs to the synaptic cleft, where it is taken up by neurons. In neurons, ascorbic acid scavenges reactive oxygen species (ROS) generated during synaptic activity and neuronal metabolism where it is then oxidized to dehydroascorbic acid and released into the extracellular space, where it can be recycled by astrocytes. Other intrinsic properties of ascorbic acid, beyond acting as an antioxidant, are important in its role as a key molecule of the CNS. Ascorbic acid can switch neuronal metabolism from glucose consumption to uptake and use of lactate as a metabolic substrate to sustain synaptic activity. Multiple evidence links oxidative stress with neurodegeneration, positioning redox imbalance and ROS as a cause of neurodegeneration. In this review, we focus on ascorbic acid homeostasis, its functions, how it is used by neurons and recycled to ensure antioxidant supply during synaptic activity and how this antioxidant is dysregulated in neurodegenerative disorders.

KEYWORDS:

brain energy metabolism; oxidative stress

PMID:
26633354
PMCID:
PMC4691042
DOI:
10.3390/ijms161226095
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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