Feb 15, 2019

Lactate triggers genes that modify brain activity

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, neuroscience

A genome-wide study led by Dean Pierre Magistretti sheds light on the mechanisms through which lactate regulates long-term memory formation and neuroprotection.

The breakdown of sugar in non-neuronal cells, called astrocytes, produces , which gets shuttled to neurons as a source of energy. This lactate not only supports the energy demands of neurons, but also rapidly and transiently activates multiple genes that modulate and regulate brain function.

Previous studies have shown that lactate stimulates the expression of genes encoding proteins involved in neuronal activity by signaling through N-methyl-D-aspartate (NMDA) receptors. Magistretti’s latest study reveals the extent to which lactate modifies in cortical neurons and also points to the mechanisms through which lactate modulates brain function.

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