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Energy and amino acid neurotransmitter metabolism in astrocytes
Published on August 19, 2013 27 min
A selection of talks on Metabolism & Nutrition
An introduction to exercise metabolism 1
- Prof. Emeritus Michael Gleeson
- Loughborough University, UK
Relapse in obesity management: does increased appetite and reduced energy expenditure play a role?
- Prof. Cátia Martins
- Norwegian University of Science and Technology, Norway
My name is Helle Waagepetersen. I'm the head of the NeuroMetabolism Research Unit, and Department of Drug Design and Pharmacology of the University of Copenhagen. The title of my talk is "Energy and Amino Acid Neurotransmitter Metabolism in Astrocytes."
Astrocytes are central in the maintenance of particularly glutamate homeostasis in the brain, but they are also essential players in brain energy metabolism. The first part of my talk will focus on glutamate homeostasis, shuttling the metabolites between neurons and astrocytes, and glutamate metabolism in astrocytes. I will cover the Glutamate-Glutamine cycle, with focus on carbon homeostasis, and nitrogen homeostasis, also anaplerosis and de-novo glutamine synthesis. And next glutamate oxidation, focusing on mitochodrial transport and metabolism, the truncated TCA-cycle, GDH, and pyruvate recycling. And some experimental guidance, how to investigate glutamate metabolism. The second part of my talk will be on how astrocytes are involved in energy metabolism, as lactate transferred between neurons and astrocytes, and glycogen. This is an essential energy source, which is coupled to brain function.
Glutamate is released from the presynaptic neuron, and interacts with postsynaptic receptors, and diffuses away from the synaptic cleft, with the surrounding astrocytes, which are equipped with an efficient machinery to take up glutamate, primarily via the high affinity glutamate transporters, GLT1 and GLAST.
Neurons do not have the appropriate enzymatic machinery to provide anaplerosis, meaning de-novo synthesis of glutamate from the precursor glucose. Thus, glutamate that is taken up by the astrocyte needs to be returned to the neuron.