Animal experiments suggest that astrocytic glycogen may act as an energy source for axons especially during heightened activity. In this model astrocytic glycogen breaks down to lactate that is shuttled to axons where it is metabolized oxidatively to generate ATP. The aim of this study was to investigate whether (1)H-magnetic resonance spectroscopy could be used to detect a rise in lactate levels in human white matter during enhanced axonal activation. Six healthy volunteers (four women and two men; age range 21-38 years) participated in the study. We were unable to detect any significant MR spectral change, i.e. neither in the peak areas of inositol, choline, creatine, glutamate and N-acetylaspartate nor in the lactate level, in the contralateral posterior limb of the internal capsule during intense motor activation of the hand (four successive episodes of squeezing a soft ball for 7 min followed by 7 min rest). Possible explanations are that the technique is not sensitive enough to detect a small rise in lactate, or lactate turnover is too fast to be detected, or that another monocarboxylate different from lactate may be involved in axonal energy metabolism.
|Number of pages||4|
|Publication status||Published - Jul 2005|
- astrocytic glycogen