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Glutamate, released at a majority of excitatory synapses in the central nervous system, depolarizes neurons by acting at specific receptors. Its action is terminated by removal from the synaptic cleft mostly via Na(+)-dependent uptake systems located on both neurons and astrocytes. Here we report that glutamate, in addition to its receptor-mediated actions(More)
Oligodendroglia support axon survival and function through mechanisms independent of myelination, and their dysfunction leads to axon degeneration in several diseases. The cause of this degeneration has not been determined, but lack of energy metabolites such as glucose or lactate has been proposed. Lactate is transported exclusively by monocarboxylate(More)
Astrocytes play a critical role in the regulation of brain metabolic responses to activity. One detailed mechanism proposed to describe the role of astrocytes in some of these responses has come to be known as the astrocyte-neuron lactate shuttle hypothesis (ANLSH). Although controversial, the original concept of a coupling mechanism between neuronal(More)
Despite striking advances in functional brain imaging, the cellular and molecular mechanisms that underlie the signals detected by these techniques are still largely unknown. The basic physiological principle of functional imaging is represented by the tight coupling existing between neuronal activity and the associated local increase in both blood flow and(More)
Mounting evidence from in vitro experiments indicates that lactate is an efficient energy substrate for neurons and that it may significantly contribute to maintain synaptic transmission, particularly during periods of intense activity. Since lactate does not cross the blood-brain barrier easily, blood-borne lactate cannot be a significant source. In vitro(More)
Classical neuroenergetics states that glucose is the exclusive energy substrate of brain cells and its full oxidation provides all the necessary energy to support brain function. Recent data have revealed a more intricate picture in which astrocytes play a key role in supplying lactate as an additional energy substrate in register with glutamatergic(More)
Synaptically released glutamate has been identified as a signal coupling excitatory neuronal activity to increased glucose utilization. The proposed mechanism of this coupling involves glutamate uptake into astrocytes resulting in increased intracellular Na+ (Nai+) and activation of the Na+/K+-ATPase. Increased metabolic demand linked to disruption of Nai+(More)
Astrocyte end-feet surround intraparenchymal microvessels and represent therefore the first cellular barrier for glucose entering the brain. As such, they are a likely site of prevalent glucose uptake. Astrocytic processes are also wrapped around synaptic contacts, implying that they are ideally positioned to sense and be functionally coupled to increased(More)