Effects of dichloroacetate on brain pyruvate dehydrogenase

J Neurochem. 1984 Jan;42(1):38-42. doi: 10.1111/j.1471-4159.1984.tb09694.x.


The action of dichloroacetate (DCA) on pyruvate dehydrogenase (PDH) activity of rat brain has been studied in vitro and in vivo. In a crude brain mitochondrial fraction, DCA inhibits PDH kinase and in rat brain slices this compound increases PDH activity and stimulates glucose oxidation. In the whole animal, intraperitoneal injection of DCA causes activation of brain PDH, indicating that this inhibitor crosses the blood-brain barrier. The same treatment with DCA also produced a large increase in heart PDH activity. Further studies of the effects of DCA on the CNS should lead to results of considerable importance.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Acetates / pharmacology*
  • Animals
  • Brain / drug effects
  • Brain / enzymology*
  • Dichloroacetic Acid / pharmacology*
  • Glucose / metabolism
  • Male
  • Oxidation-Reduction
  • Pyruvate Dehydrogenase Complex / metabolism*
  • Rats
  • Rats, Inbred Strains
  • Time Factors


  • Acetates
  • Pyruvate Dehydrogenase Complex
  • Dichloroacetic Acid
  • Glucose