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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

Evidence for a higher glycolytic than oxidative metabolic activity in white matter of rat brain.

Different values exist for glucose metabolism in white matter; it appears higher when measured as accumulation of 2-deoxyglucose than when measured as formation of glutamate from isotopically labeled glucose, possibly because the two methods reflect glycolytic and tricarboxylic acid (TCA) cycle activities, respectively. We compared glycolytic and TCA cycle activity in rat white structures (corpus callosum, fimbria, and optic nerve) to activities in parietal cortex, which has a tight glycolytic-oxidative coupling. White structures had an uptake of [(3)H]2-deoxyglucose in vivo and activities of hexokinase, glucose-6-phosphate isomerase, and lactate dehydrogenase that were 40-50% of values in parietal cortex. In contrast, formation of aspartate from [U-(14)C]glucose in awake rats (which reflects the passage of (14)C through the whole TCA cycle) and activities of pyruvate dehydrogenase, citrate synthase, alpha-ketoglutarate dehydrogenase, and fumarase in white structures were 10-23% of cortical values, optic nerve showing the lowest values. The data suggest a higher glycolytic than oxidative metabolism in white matter, possibly leading to surplus formation of pyruvate or lactate. Phosphoglucomutase activity, which interconverts glucose-6-phosphate and glucose-1-phosphate, was similar in white structures and parietal cortex ( approximately 3nmol/mgtissue/min), in spite of the lower glucose uptake in the former, suggesting that a larger fraction of glucose is converted into glucose-1-phosphate in white than in gray matter. However, the white matter glycogen synthase level was only 20-40% of that in cortex, suggesting that not all glucose-1-phosphate is destined for glycogen formation.[1]


  1. Evidence for a higher glycolytic than oxidative metabolic activity in white matter of rat brain. Morland, C., Henjum, S., Iversen, E.G., Skrede, K.K., Hassel, B. Neurochem. Int. (2007) [Pubmed]
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