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J Clin Invest. 1970 Nov;49(11):2139-45.

Reduced brain glucose with normal plasma glucose in salicylate poisoning.


After the intraperitoneal injection into young mice of 700-800 mg/kg of salicylate, brain glucose fell to one-third or less of control values despite normal plasma glucose levels; brain lactate was nearly doubled and there were small decreases in phosphocreatine (18%) and in glycogen (17%). ATP, pyruvate, alpha-ketoglutarate, and glutamate were unchanged. In liver, glycogen was reduced 79% and lactate was five times higher than in control animals; glucose, glucose-6-phosphate, and ATP were unchanged. Since salicylate uncouples oxidative phosphorylation, it is postulated that high energy phosphate in the brain is maintained near normal levels by a compensatory increase in cerebral glycolysis. Apparently the brain glucose level falls because the rate of utilization exceeds the rate at which glucose can be supplied from the blood. Concurrent administration of glucose with salicylate elevated brain glucose concentration and was associated with striking improvement in the condition and the increased survival of the animals. These findings stress the fact that in salicylate poisoning the supply of glucose to the brain may be inadequate even when blood glucose levels are normal.

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