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We hypothesize that one mechanism of the anti-epileptic effect of the ketogenic diet is to alter brain handling of glutamate. According to this formulation, in ketotic brain astrocyte metabolism is more active, resulting in enhanced conversion of glutamate to glutamine. This allows for: (a) more efficient removal of glutamate, the most important excitatory(More)
The metabolism of branched-chain amino acids (BCAAs) was studied in cortical synaptosomes. With [15N]leucine (1 mM) as precursor, the cumulative appearance of 15N in [15N]glutamate and [15N]aspartate was 0.2 nmol/min/mg of protein without supplemental alpha-ketoglutarate and 0.3 nmol/min/mg of protein in the presence of alpha-ketoglutarate (0.5 mM). The(More)
Children with hypoglycemia due to recessive loss of function mutations of the beta-cell ATP-sensitive potassium (K(ATP)) channel can develop hypoglycemia in response to protein feeding. We hypothesized that amino acids might stimulate insulin secretion by unknown mechanisms, because the K(ATP) channel-dependent pathway of insulin secretion is defective. We(More)
In many epileptic patients, anticonvulsant drugs either fail adequately to control seizures or they cause serious side effects. An important adjunct to pharmacologic therapy is the ketogenic diet, which often improves seizure control, even in patients who respond poorly to medications. The mechanisms that explain the therapeutic effect are incompletely(More)
Glutamic acid is an important excitatory neurotransmitter of the brain. Two key goals of brain amino acid handling are to maintain a very low intrasynaptic concentration of glutamic acid and also to provide the system with precursors from which to synthesize glutamate. The intrasynaptic glutamate level must be kept low to maximize the signal-to-noise ratio(More)
We do not know the mode of action of the ketogenic diet in controlling epilepsy. One possibility is that the diet alters brain handling of glutamate, the major excitatory neurotransmitter and a probable factor in evoking and perpetuating a convulsion. We have found that brain metabolism of ketone bodies can furnish as much as 30% of glutamate and glutamine(More)
The ketogenic diet has been utilized for many years as an adjunctive therapy in the management of epilepsy, especially in those children for whom antiepileptic drugs have not permitted complete relief. The biochemical basis of the dietary effect is unclear. One possibility is that the diet leads to alterations in the metabolism of brain amino acids, most(More)
The concentration of glutamate in the brain extracellular fluid must be kept low (approximately 3 microM) in order to maximize the signal-to-noise ratio upon the release of glutamate from neurons. In addition, the nerve endings require a supply of glutamate precursors that will not cause depolarization. The major precursor to neuronal glutamate is(More)
Nitric oxide (NO) is a signaling intermediate during glutamatergic neurotransmission in the central nervous system (CNS). NO signaling is in part accomplished through cysteine S-nitrosylation, a posttranslational modification by which NO regulates protein function and signaling. In our investigation of the protein targets and functional impact of(More)
Paracrine signaling between pancreatic islet β-cells and α-cells has been proposed to play a role in regulating glucagon responses to elevated glucose and hypoglycemia. To examine this possibility in human islets, we used a metabolomic approach to trace the responses of amino acids and other potential neurotransmitters to stimulation with [U-(13)C]glucose(More)