: The utilization of lactate, glucose, 3‐hydroxybutyrate, and glutamine has been studied in isolated brain cells from early newborn rats. Isolated brain cells actively utilized these substrates, showing saturation at concentrations near physiological levels during the perinatal period. The rate of lactate utilization was 2.5‐fold greater than that observed for glucose, 3‐hydroxybutyrate, or glutamine, suggesting that lactate is the main metabolic substrate for the brain immediately after birth. The apparent Km for glucose utilization suggested that this process is limited by the activity of hexokinase. However, lactate, 3‐hydroxybutyrate, and glutamine utilization seems to be limited by their transport through the plasma membrane. The presence of fatty acid‐free bovine serum albumin (BSA) in the incubation medium significantly increased the rate of lipogenesis from lactate or 3‐hydroxybutyrate, although this was balanced by the decrease in their rates of oxidation in the same circumstances. BSA did not affect the rate of glucose utilization. The effect of BSA was due not to the removal of free fatty acid, but possibly to the binding of long‐chain acyl‐CoA, resulting in the disinhibition of acetyl‐CoA carboxylase and citrate carrier.
Journal of Neurochemistry – Wiley
Published: Nov 1, 1991
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