Send to

Choose Destination
J Cereb Blood Flow Metab. 2005 Nov;25(11):1476-90.

Interaction between astrocytes and neurons studied using a mathematical model of compartmentalized energy metabolism.

Author information

INSERM U494, CHU Pitié-Salpêtrière, Paris, France.


Understanding cerebral energy metabolism in neurons and astrocytes is necessary for the interpretation of functional brain imaging data. It has been suggested that astrocytes can provide lactate as an energy fuel to neurons, a process referred to as astrocyte-neuron lactate shuttle (ANLS). Some authors challenged this hypothesis, defending the classical view that glucose is the major energy substrate of neurons, at rest as well as in response to a stimulation. To test the ANLS hypothesis from a theoretical point of view, we developed a mathematical model of compartmentalized energy metabolism between neurons and astrocytes, adopting hypotheses highly unfavorable to ANLS. Simulation results can be divided between two groups, depending on the relative neuron versus astrocyte stimulation. If this ratio is low, ANLS is observed during all the stimulus and poststimulus periods (continuous ANLS), but a high ratio induces ANLS only at the beginning of the stimulus and during the poststimulus period (triphasic behavior). Finally, our results show that current experimental data on lactate kinetics are compatible with the ANLS hypothesis, and that it is essential to assess the neuronal and astrocytic NADH/NAD+ ratio changes to test the ANLS hypothesis.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Atypon
Loading ...
Support Center