Abstract

Glucose is a major energy fuel for the brain, however, less is known about specificities of its metabolism in distinct cerebral areas. Here we examined the regional differences in glucose utilization between the hypothalamus and hippocampus using in vivo indirect C-13 magnetic resonance spectroscopy (H-1-[C-13]-MRS) upon infusion of [1,6-C-13(2)]glucose. Using a metabolic flux analysis with a 1-compartment mathematical model of brain metabolism, we report that compared to hippocampus, hypothalamus shows higher levels of aerobic glycolysis associated with a marked gamma-aminobutyric acid-ergic (GABAergic) and astrocytic metabolic dependence. In addition, our analysis suggests a higher rate of ATP production in hypothalamus that is accompanied by an excess of cytosolic nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide (NADH) production that does not fuel mitochondria via the malate-aspartate shuttle (MAS). In conclusion, our results reveal significant metabolic differences, which might be attributable to respective cell populations or functional features of both structures.

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