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Brain Res. 1997 Jan 2;744(1):105-11.

Brain lactate, not glucose, fuels the recovery of synaptic function from hypoxia upon reoxygenation: an in vitro study.

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Department of Anesthesiology, University of Louisville School of Medicine, KY 40292, USA.


Lactate has been considered for many years to be a useless, and frequently, harmful end-product of anaerobic glycolysis. In the present in vitro study, lactate-supplied rat hippocampal slices showed a significantly higher degree of recovery of synaptic function after a short hypoxic period than slices supplied with an equicaloric amount of glucose. More importantly, all slices in which anaerobic lactate production was enhanced by pre-hypoxia glucose overload exhibited functional recovery after a prolonged hypoxia. An 80% recovery of synaptic function was observed even when glucose utilization was blocked with 2-deoxy-D-glucose during the later part of the hypoxic period and during reoxygenation. In contrast, slices in which anaerobic lactate production was blocked during the initial stages of hypoxia did not recover their synaptic function upon reoxygenation despite the abundance of glucose and the removal of 2-deoxy-D-glucose. Thus, for brain tissue to show functional recovery after prolonged period of hypoxia, the aerobic utilization of lactate as an energy substrate is mandatory.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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