Brain energy depletion in a rodent model of diffuse traumatic brain injury is not prevented with administration of sodium lactate.

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Lactate has been identified as an alternative fuel for the brain in situations of increased energy demand, as following a traumatic brain injury (TBI). This study investigates the effect of treatment with sodium lactate (NaLac) on the changes in brain energy state induced by a severe diffuse TBI. Rats were assigned to one of the eight groups (n=10 per group): 1-sham, normal saline; 2-TBI, normal saline; 3-TBI, hypertonic saline; 4-TBI, 100mM NaLac, 5-TBI, 500 mM NaLac; 6-TBI, 1280 mM NaLac; 7-TBI, 2000 mM NaLac and 8-TBI-500 mM NaLac+magnesium sulfate. Cerebrums were removed 6h after trauma. Metabolites representative of the energy state (ATP, ATP-catabolites), N-acetylaspartate (NAA), antioxidant defenses (ascorbic acid, glutathione), markers of oxidative stress (malondialdehyde, ADP-ribose) and nicotinic coenzymes (NAD(+)) were measured by HPLC. TBI induced a marked decrease in the cerebral levels of ATP, NAA, ascorbic acid, glutathione and NAD(+) and a significant rise in the content of ATP-catabolites, malondialdehyde and ADP-ribose. These alterations were not ameliorated with NaLac infusion. We observed a significant reduction in cerebral NAD(+), an essential co-enzyme for mitochondrial lactate-dehydrogenase that converts lactate into pyruvate and thus replenishes the tricarboxylic acid cycle. These results suggest that the metabolic pathway necessary to consume lactate may be compromised following a severe diffuse TBI in rats.


Original languageEnglish
JournalBrain Research
Publication statusPublished - 2011