Brain Slices pp 113-153 | Cite as

Energy Metabolism and Brain Slice Function

  • Peter Lipton
  • Tim S. Whittingham


The brain slice preparation has been used in a wide variety of investigations since its development in the 1930s by Quastel and by Elliot (Elliot and Wolfe, 1962). Prior to the 1970s, most of this work centered on slice metabolism, with a particular focus on the metabolic consequences of electrical activity (McIlwain and Bachelard, 1971). Although these studies were fundamental to the whole development of the brain slice as a useful preparation, they had a serious drawback in that normal electrophysiological responses could not be obtained from these cortical preparations. Thus, electrical activity was mimicked by profound membrane depolarizations, produced either by high-frequency electrical stimulation or by large changes in extracellular K+ concentrations. More recently, the development of the olfactory and the hippocampal slice preparations (Yamamoto and Kurokawa, 1970; Skrede and Westgaard, 1971) has opened the door to much more sophisticated studies of the relationship between neural activity and energy metabolism than was possible with the previous cortical slice preparation. Thus, it is now possible to correlate metabolic and electrophysiological changes in different conditions and thereby determine mechanisms by which neural transmission affects metabolism and vice-versa (Yamamoto and Kurokawa, 1970).


Energy Metabolism Creatine Kinase Brain Slice Hippocampal Slice Energy Charge 
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© Plenum Press, New York 1984

Authors and Affiliations

  • Peter Lipton
    • 1
  • Tim S. Whittingham
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of PhysiologyUniversity of WisconsinMadisonUSA
  2. 2.Laboratory of Neurochemistry, National Institute of Neurological and Communicative Disorders and StrokeNational Institutes of HealthBethesdaUSA

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