Ketones Suppress Brain Glucose Consumption

Conference paper
Part of the Advances in Experimental Medicine and Biology book series (AEMB, volume 645)


The brain is dependent on glucose as a primary energy substrate, but is capable of utilizing ketones such as β-hydroxybutyrate (βHB) and acetoacetate (AcAc), as occurs with fasting, prolonged starvation or chronic feeding of a high fat/low carbohydrate diet (ketogenic diet). In this study, the local cerebral metabolic rate of glucose consumption (CMRglu; μM/min/100g) was calculated in the cortex and cerebellum of control and ketotic rats using Patlak analysis. Rats were imaged on a rodent PET scanner and MRI was performed on a 7-Tesla Bruker scanner for registration with the PET images. Plasma glucose and βHB concentrations were measured and 90-minute dynamic PET scans were started simultaneously with bolus injection of 2-Deoxy-2[18F]Fluoro-D-Glucose (FDG).The blood radioactivity concentration was automatically sampled from the tail vein for 3 min following injection and manual periodic blood samples were taken. The calculated local CMRGlu decreased with increasing plasma BHB concentration in the cerebellum (CMRGlu = -4.07*[BHB] + 61.4, r² = 0.3) and in the frontal cortex (CMRGlu = - 3.93*[BHB] + 42.7, r² = 0.5). These data indicate that, under conditions of ketosis, glucose consumption is decreased in the cortex and cerebellum by about 10% per each mM of plasma ketone bodies.


Positron Emission Tomography Cerebral Blood Flow Positron Emission Tomography Image Glucose Consumption Ketone Body 
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© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of AnatomyCase Western Reserve UniversityCleveland
  2. 2.Department of Biomedical EngineeringCase Western Reserve UniversityCleveland
  3. 3.Department of RadiologyCase Western Reserve UniversityCleveland

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