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Int J Mol Sci. 2016 Sep 1;17(9). pii: E1450. doi: 10.3390/ijms17091450.

Lactate as a Metabolite and a Regulator in the Central Nervous System.

Author information

1
Department of Psychological, Pedagogical and Educational Sciences, Sport and Exercise Sciences Research Unit, University of Palermo, Palermo I-90128, Italy. patrizia.proia@unipa.it.
2
Department of Biological Chemical and Pharmaceutical Sciences and Technologies (STEBICEF), University of Palermo (UNIPA), Palermo I-90128, Italy. carlomaria.diliegro@unipa.it.
3
Department of Biological Chemical and Pharmaceutical Sciences and Technologies (STEBICEF), University of Palermo (UNIPA), Palermo I-90128, Italy. gabriella.schiera@unipa.it.
4
Department of Biological Chemical and Pharmaceutical Sciences and Technologies (STEBICEF), University of Palermo (UNIPA), Palermo I-90128, Italy. anna.fricano@unipa.it.
5
Department of Experimental Biomedicine and Clinical Neurosciences (BIONEC), University of Palermo, Palermo I-90127, Italy. italia.diliegro@unipa.it.

Abstract

More than two hundred years after its discovery, lactate still remains an intriguing molecule. Considered for a long time as a waste product of metabolism and the culprit behind muscular fatigue, it was then recognized as an important fuel for many cells. In particular, in the nervous system, it has been proposed that lactate, released by astrocytes in response to neuronal activation, is taken up by neurons, oxidized to pyruvate and used for synthesizing acetyl-CoA to be used for the tricarboxylic acid cycle. More recently, in addition to this metabolic role, the discovery of a specific receptor prompted a reconsideration of its role, and lactate is now seen as a sort of hormone, even involved in processes as complex as memory formation and neuroprotection. As a matter of fact, exercise offers many benefits for our organisms, and seems to delay brain aging and neurodegeneration. Now, exercise induces the production and release of lactate into the blood which can reach the liver, the heart, and also the brain. Can lactate be a beneficial molecule produced during exercise, and offer neuroprotection? In this review, we summarize what we have known on lactate, discussing the roles that have been attributed to this molecule over time.

KEYWORDS:

blood-brain barrier; brain metabolism; exercise and lactate; lactate receptors; lactate transporters; lactic acid

PMID:
27598136
PMCID:
PMC5037729
DOI:
10.3390/ijms17091450
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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