Nonoxidative glucose consumption during focal physiologic neural activity

Science  22 Jul 1988:
Vol. 241, Issue 4864, pp. 462-464
DOI: 10.1126/science.3260686


Brain glucose uptake, oxygen metabolism, and blood flow in humans were measured with positron emission tomography, and a resting-state molar ratio of oxygen to glucose consumption of 4.1:1 was obtained. Physiological neural activity, however, increased glucose uptake and blood flow much more (51 and 50 percent, respectively) than oxygen consumption (5 percent) and produced a molar ratio for the increases of 0.4:1. Transient increases in neural activity cause a tissue uptake of glucose in excess of that consumed by oxidative metabolism, acutely consume much less energy than previously believed, and regulate local blood flow for purposes other than oxidative metabolism.

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