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Uncoupling protein 2 (UCP2) function in the brain as revealed by the cerebral metabolism of (1-13C)-glucose

AuthorsContreras, Laura ; Rial, Eduardo ; Cerdán, Sebastián ; Satrústegui, Jorgina
KeywordsCerebral metabolism
Issue Date12-Jul-2017
CitationNeurochemical Research 42(1): 108-114 (2017)
AbstractThe mitochondrial aspartate/glutamate transporter Aralar/AGC1/Slc25a12 is critically involved in brain aspartate synthesis, and AGC1 deficiency results in a drastic fall of brain aspartate levels in humans and mice. It has recently been described that the uncoupling protein UCP2 transports four carbon metabolites including aspartate. Since UCP2 is expressed in several brain cell types and AGC1 is mainly neuronal, we set to test whether UCP2 could be a mitochondrial aspartate carrier in the brain glial compartment. The study of the cerebral metabolism of (1¿13C)-glucose in vivo in wild type and UCP2-knockout mice showed no differences in C3 or C2 labeling of aspartate, suggesting that UCP2 does not function as a mitochondrial aspartate carrier in brain. However, surprisingly, a clear decrease (of about 30¿35¿%) in the fractional enrichment of glutamate, glutamine and GABA was observed in the brains of UCP2-KO mice which was not associated with differences in either glucose or lactate enrichments. The results suggest that the dilution in the labeling of glutamate and its downstream metabolites could originate from the uptake of an unlabeled substrate that could not leave the matrix via UCP2 becoming trapped in the matrix. Understanding the nature of the unlabeled substrate and its precursor(s) as alternative substrates to glucose is of interest in the context of neurological diseases associated with UCP2.
Identifiersdoi: 10.1007/s11064-016-1999-5
issn: 0364-3190
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