Brain energy metabolism: contributions of glutamatergic and GABAergic mechanisms
Sebastian Schuchmann/Kai Kaila
Energy metabolism is a central topic in understanding the large-scale organization of the brain, the existence of energy-efficient neuronal codes, optimal resource allocation and many other aspects of brain functions. In addition, interpretation of brain imaging results such as those based on BOLD signals require an understanding of the underlying cellular and biochemical mechanisms. Currently, there are two main ideas that dominate the thinking in this field: one view holds that energy consumption in brain tissue is primarily caused by processes involved in ion transport to support action potentials and postsynaptic signals; while according to the other view, glutamate recycling and metabolism in glia is mainly responsible for activity-dependent energy expenditure.
We will use fluorescent techniques established in Berlin to analyze the levels of NAD/NADH using (autofluorescence) and mitochondrial membrane potential (using rhodamine) in rat brain slice preparations, to make experiments addressing the above questions.
Possible cortex partners for rotation: