The (13) C-labeling patterns in glutamate and glutamine from brain tissue are quite different after infusion of a mixture of (13) C-enriched glucose and acetate. Two processes contribute to this observation, oxidation of acetate by astrocytes but not neurons, and preferential incorporation of α-ketoglutarate into glutamate in neurons, and incorporation of α-ketoglutarate into glutamine in astrocytes. The acetate:glucose ratio, introduced previously for analysis of a single (13) C NMR spectrum, provides a useful index of acetate and glucose oxidation in the brain tissue. However, quantitation of relative substrate oxidation at the cell compartment level has not been reported. A simple mathematical method is presented to quantify the ratio of acetate-to-glucose oxidation in astrocytes, based on the standard assumption that neurons do not oxidize acetate. Mice were infused with [1,2-(13) C]acetate and [1,6-(13) C]glucose, and proton decoupled (13) C NMR spectra of cortex extracts were acquired. A fit of those spectra to the model indicated that (13) C-labeled acetate and glucose contributed approximately equally to acetyl-CoA (0.96) in astrocytes. As this method relies on a single (13) C NMR spectrum, it can be readily applied to multiple physiologic and pathologic conditions. Differences in (13) C labeling of brain glutamate and glutamine have been attributed to metabolic compartmentation. The acetate:glucose ratio, introduced for description of a (13) C NMR (nuclear magnetic resonance) spectrum, is an index of glucose and acetate oxidation in brain tissue. A simple mathematical method is presented to quantify the ratio of acetate-to-glucose oxidation in astrocytes from a single NMR spectrum. As kinetic analysis is not required, the method is readily applicable to analysis of tissue extracts. α-KG = alpha-ketoglutarate; CAC = citric acid cycle; GLN = glutamine; GLU = glutamate.
Keywords: acetate; glia; glucose; neuron.
© 2014 International Society for Neurochemistry.