Neurotransmitters regulate energy metabolism in astrocytes: Implications for the metabolic trafficking between neural cells

Pierre J. Magistretti*, Olivier Sorg, Naichen Yu, Jean Luc Martin, Luc Pellerin

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

170 Scopus citations

Abstract

In recent years a vast array of experimental evidence has indicated the presence of functional receptors for neurotransmitters on nonneuronal cells, in particular astrocytes. The two neurotransmitters vasoactive intestinal peptide (VIP) and noradrenaline (NA) exert profound, receptor-mediated, metabolic actions on astrocytes. Thus both neurotransmitters stimulate glycogenolysis in primary astrocyte cultures, with EC50s of 3 and 20 nM respectively. Astrocytes display basal glucose utilization rates ranging between 3 and 9 nmol/mg prot/min, a value that is remarkably close to glucose utilization of cerebral cortical grey matter as determined by the 2-deoxyglucose autoradiographic technique. NA markedly enhances glucose uptake and phosphorylation by astrocytes, with an EC50 of 1 μM. The metabolic substrate that is released by astrocytes is predominantly lactate and not glucose. Since lactate can support neuronal activity and synaptic function in vitro, the possibility should be considered that glucose uptake by the brain parenchyma occurs predominantly into astrocytes which subsequently release lactate for the use of neurons.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)306-312
Number of pages7
JournalDevelopmental Neuroscience
Volume15
Issue number3-5
DOIs
StatePublished - 1993
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • 2-Deoxyglucose
  • Astrocytes
  • Glycogen
  • Lactate
  • Neurodegeneration
  • Noradrenaline
  • PET
  • VIP

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Developmental Neuroscience
  • Neurology
  • Neuroscience(all)

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