Transport of Glucose and Amino Acids in the Central Nervous System

  • Hugh Davson
  • Berislav Zloković
  • Ljubisa Rakić
  • Malcolm B. Segal


Glucose is the main source of energy for the central nervous system, so that the dynamics of its supply from blood are of great interest, especially since the central nervous tissue does not store glycogen to any great extent. Thus, the continuous metabolism of glucose must be adequately maintained by a continuous supply of the metabolite from the blood. Sugars, like amino acids, are highly water-soluble, and, being relatively large molecules, they are unlikely to penetrate the capillary membrane of nervous tissue to any extent in the absence of special mechanisms. That special mechanisms exist for both classes of metabolite has already been made clear, the transport from blood to nervous tissue being of the carrier-mediated, or facilitated, type, exhibiting Michaelis-Menten kinetics from which the two parameters, Km and Vmax may be derived, Km being regarded as the reciprocal of the affinity of the molecule for the hypothetical carrier in the capillary membrane, or, more specifically, the concentration of the solute at which the carrier is half-saturated. Vmax is the maximum rate of transport across the capillary, obtained by extrapolating the rate to zero solute concentration, and is an index to the number of carrier sites available to the solute.


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Copyright information

© The authors 1993

Authors and Affiliations

  • Hugh Davson
    • 1
  • Berislav Zloković
    • 2
  • Ljubisa Rakić
    • 3
  • Malcolm B. Segal
    • 1
  1. 1.Sherrington School of Physiology UMDSGuy’s and St Thomas’s HospitalsLondonUK
  2. 2.USC School of MedicineLos AngelesUSA
  3. 3.School of MedicineBelgradeSerbia

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