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Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2016, 17(9), 1450; doi:10.3390/ijms17091450

Lactate as a Metabolite and a Regulator in the Central Nervous System

1
Department of Psychological, Pedagogical and Educational Sciences, Sport and Exercise Sciences Research Unit, University of Palermo, Palermo I-90128, Italy
2
Department of Biological Chemical and Pharmaceutical Sciences and Technologies (STEBICEF), University of Palermo (UNIPA), Palermo I-90128, Italy
3
Department of Experimental Biomedicine and Clinical Neurosciences (BIONEC), University of Palermo, Palermo I-90127, Italy
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Irmgard Tegeder
Received: 28 July 2016 / Revised: 22 August 2016 / Accepted: 25 August 2016 / Published: 1 September 2016
(This article belongs to the Section Biochemistry, Molecular and Cellular Biology)
View Full-Text   |   Download PDF [276 KB, uploaded 1 September 2016]   |  

Abstract

More than two hundred years after its discovery, lactate still remains an intriguing molecule. Considered for a long time as a waste product of metabolism and the culprit behind muscular fatigue, it was then recognized as an important fuel for many cells. In particular, in the nervous system, it has been proposed that lactate, released by astrocytes in response to neuronal activation, is taken up by neurons, oxidized to pyruvate and used for synthesizing acetyl-CoA to be used for the tricarboxylic acid cycle. More recently, in addition to this metabolic role, the discovery of a specific receptor prompted a reconsideration of its role, and lactate is now seen as a sort of hormone, even involved in processes as complex as memory formation and neuroprotection. As a matter of fact, exercise offers many benefits for our organisms, and seems to delay brain aging and neurodegeneration. Now, exercise induces the production and release of lactate into the blood which can reach the liver, the heart, and also the brain. Can lactate be a beneficial molecule produced during exercise, and offer neuroprotection? In this review, we summarize what we have known on lactate, discussing the roles that have been attributed to this molecule over time. View Full-Text
Keywords: lactic acid; brain metabolism; lactate transporters; blood-brain barrier; lactate receptors; exercise and lactate lactic acid; brain metabolism; lactate transporters; blood-brain barrier; lactate receptors; exercise and lactate
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MDPI and ACS Style

Proia, P.; Di Liegro, C.M.; Schiera, G.; Fricano, A.; Di Liegro, I. Lactate as a Metabolite and a Regulator in the Central Nervous System. Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2016, 17, 1450.

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