Triheptanoin, the triglyceride of heptanoate, is anticonvulsant in various epilepsy models. It is thought to improve energy metabolism in the epileptic brain by re-filling the tricarboxylic acid (TCA) cycle with C4-intermediates (anaplerosis). Here, we injected mice with [1,2-(13) C]glucose 3.5-4 weeks after pilocarpine-induced status epilepticus (SE) fed either a control or triheptanoin diet. Amounts of metabolites and incorporations of (13) C were determined in extracts of cerebral cortices and hippocampal formation and enzyme activity and mRNA expression were quantified. The percentage enrichment with two (13) C atoms in malate, citrate, succinate, and GABA was reduced in hippocampal formation of control-fed SE compared with control mice. Except for succinate, these reductions were not found in triheptanoin-fed SE mice, indicating that triheptanoin prevented a decrease of TCA cycle capacity. Compared to those on control diet, triheptanoin-fed SE mice showed few changes in most other metabolite levels and their (13) C labeling. Reduced pyruvate carboxylase mRNA and enzyme activity in forebrains and decreased [2,3-(13) C]aspartate amounts in cortex suggest a pyruvate carboxylation independent source of C-4 TCA cycle intermediates. Most likely anaplerosis was kept unchanged by carboxylation of propionyl-CoA derived from heptanoate. Further studies are proposed to fully understand triheptanoin's effects on neuroglial metabolism and interaction.
Keywords: 13C isotope; NMR spectroscopy; anaplerosis; medium chain triglyceride; seizures; status epilepticus.
© 2013 International Society for Neurochemistry.