Brain Carbohydrate Metabolism in Developing Rats During Hypercapnia

Alexander L. Miller, David H. Corddry

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

32 Scopus citations


Abstract: Brain glucose metabolism was studied in developing rats at ages 10 and 20 days postnatal under normal and hypercapnic conditions. Brains were removed and frozen within 1 s with a freeze‐blowing apparatus. Glucose utilization was measured with [2‐14C]glucose and [3H]deoxyglucose as tracers. Metabolites were determined by standard enzymatic techniques. Data from [3H]deoxyglucose phosphorylation indicated that normal brain glucose utilization increased almost threefold between the 10th and 20th postnatal days. From the relative rates of utilization of the two isotopes in the 20‐day‐old control group, it appeared that about 25% of 14C label derived from metabolism of [2‐14C]glucose was lost from brain (probably as lactate) rather than entering the Krebs cycle. Under hypercapnic conditions (20% CO2‐21% O2‐59% N2), rates of glucose utilization by brain were decreased by one‐half at both ages and there were progressive decreases in the concentrations of many intermediary metabolites. The bases for concluding that these metabolites were used to supplement glucose as a fuel for respiration, rather than being lost by leakage into blood, are discussed. Despite the differences in brain glucose metabolism between 10‐day‐old and 20‐day‐old rats, their responses to hypercapnia are remarkably similar: Rates of glucose utilization are reduced to approximately the same proportion of the original rate by 20% CO2, and endogenous metabolites (particularly glutamate and lactate) appear to be oxidized as replacement fuels.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1202-1210
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of neurochemistry
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 1981
Externally publishedYes


  • Brain
  • Development
  • Glucose
  • Hypercapnia
  • Metabolism

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience
  • Biochemistry


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