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The metabolism of ketone bodies in developing human brain development of ketone body utilizing enzymes and ketone bodies as precursors for lipid synthesis



The metabolism of ketone bodies in developing human brain development of ketone body utilizing enzymes and ketone bodies as precursors for lipid synthesis



Journal of Neurochemistry 25(6): 905-908



The earliest detection and development of ketone body-utilizing enzymes in human brain, and the incorporation of ketone-body-carbon into cerebral lipids and proteins in human fetal brain was investigated. Specimens of human fetal brains were obtained after therapeutic abortion. Cerebral cortex specimens were obtained from children and adult humans at autopsy. Activities of 3 enzymes, involved in the initial catabolism of ketone bodies (3-hydroxybutyrate dehydrogenase, 3-oxoacid CoA transferase and acetoacetyl CoA thiolase) were readily detectable in brains from at least 8-10 wk old human fetuses. The maximum capacity of human fetal brain (gestational age 10-16 wk) to synthesize lipids from labeled substrates at 5 or 10 mM concentrations was investigated. [U-14C]glucose was oxidized at a rate of about 960 nmol/g wet tissue per h which was about 3-fold greater than that of [3-14C]DL-3-hydroxybutyrate and [3-14C] acetoacetate. The incorporation of labeled ketone bodies into fatty acids was higher than that of glucose. [1-14C]acetate was readily oxidized to 14CO2 and also incorporated into lipids by fetal brain.

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Accession: 006717623

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PMID: 1206409



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