Brain energy metabolism: focus on astrocyte-neuron metabolic cooperation

Cell Metab. 2011 Dec 7;14(6):724-38. doi: 10.1016/j.cmet.2011.08.016.


The energy requirements of the brain are very high, and tight regulatory mechanisms operate to ensure adequate spatial and temporal delivery of energy substrates in register with neuronal activity. Astrocytes-a type of glial cell-have emerged as active players in brain energy delivery, production, utilization, and storage. Our understanding of neuroenergetics is rapidly evolving from a "neurocentric" view to a more integrated picture involving an intense cooperativity between astrocytes and neurons. This review focuses on the cellular aspects of brain energy metabolism, with a particular emphasis on the metabolic interactions between neurons and astrocytes.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Astrocytes / metabolism*
  • Brain / blood supply*
  • Brain / cytology
  • Brain / physiology*
  • Energy Metabolism / physiology*
  • Glycogen / metabolism
  • Lactic Acid / metabolism
  • Models, Biological*
  • Neurons / metabolism*
  • Oxidative Stress / physiology
  • Regional Blood Flow / physiology


  • Lactic Acid
  • Glycogen