Neuron-glia metabolic coupling: Role in plasticity and neuroprotection
AuthorsMagistretti, Pierre J.
KAUST DepartmentBiological and Environmental Sciences and Engineering (BESE) Division
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AbstractA tight metabolic coupling between astrocytes and neurons is a key feature of brain energy metabolism (Magistretti and Allaman, Neuron, 2015). Over the years we have described two basic mechanisms of neurometabolic coupling. First the glycogenolytic effect of VIP and of noradrenaline indicating a regulation of brain homeostasis by neurotransmitters acting on astrocytes, as glycogen is exclusively localized in these cells. Second, the glutamate-stimulated aerobic glycolysis in astrocytes. Both the VIP-and noradrenaline-induced glycogenolysis and the glutamate-stimulated aerobic glycolysis result in the release of lactate from astrocytes as an energy substrate for neurons (Magistretti and Allaman, Neuron, 2015). We have recently shown that lactate is necessary not only as an energy substrate but is also a signaling molecule for long-term memory consolidation and for maintenance of LTP (Suzuki et al, Cell, 2011). At the molecular level we have found that L-lactate stimulates the expression of synaptic plasticity-related genes such as Arc, Zif268 and BDNF through a mechanism involving NMDA receptor activity and its downstream signaling cascade Erk1/2 (Yang et al, PNAS, 2014). L-lactate potentiates NMDA receptor-mediated currents and the ensuing increases in intracellular calcium. These results reveal a novel action of L-lactate as a signaling molecule for neuronal plasticity. We have also recently shown that peripheral administration of lactate exerts antidepressant-like effects in three animal models of depression (Carrard et al, Mol.Psy., 2016).
CitationMagistretti P (2017) Neuron-glia metabolic coupling: Role in plasticity and neuroprotection. Journal of the Neurological Sciences 381: 24. Available: http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jns.2017.08.107.