Lactate-supported synaptic function in the rat hippocampal slice preparation

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Science  03 Jun 1988:
Vol. 240, Issue 4857, pp. 1326-1328
DOI: 10.1126/science.3375817


The present study was undertaken to examine the possibility that cerebral energy metabolism can be fueled by lactate. As a sole energy substrate, lactate supported normal synaptic function in rat hippocampal slices for hours without any sign of deterioration. Slices that were synaptically silent as a result of glucose depletion could be reactivated with lactate to show normal synaptic function. When slices were exposed to the glycolytic inhibitor iodoacetic acid, lactate-supported synaptic function was unaffected, whereas that supported by glucose was completely abolished. This indicated that lactate was metabolized directly via pyruvate to enter the tricarboxylic acid cycle. Thus, under conditions that lead to lactate accumulation (cerebral ischemia) this "end product" may be a useful alternative as a substrate for energy metabolism.

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