In prolonged fasting, the brain derives a large portion of its oxidative energy from the ketone bodies, beta-hydroxybutyrate and acetoacetate, thereby reducing whole body glucose consumption. Energy substrate utilization differs regionally in the brain of fasting rat, but comparable information has hitherto been unavailable in humans. We used positron emission tomography (PET) to study regional brain glucose and oxygen metabolism, blood flow, and blood volume in four obese subjects before and after a 3-wk total fast. Whole brain glucose utilization fell to 54% of control (postabsorptive) values (P less than 0.002). The whole brain rate constant for glucose tracer phosphorylation fell to 51% of control values (P less than 0.002). Both parameters decreased uniformly throughout the brain. The 2-fluoro-2-deoxy-D-glucose lumped constant decreased from a control value of 0.57 to 0.43 (P less than 0.01). Regional blood-brain barrier transfer coefficients for glucose tracer, regional oxygen utilization, blood flow, and blood volume were unchanged.
- Copyright © 1989 the American Physiological Society