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Fig. 18 | Fluids and Barriers of the CNS

Fig. 18

From: Elimination of substances from the brain parenchyma: efflux via perivascular pathways and via the blood–brain barrier

Fig. 18

(Based on Figure 1 in Hutson [384])

The branched chain amino acid shuttle for provision of branched chain amino acids (BCAA) in the astrocytes to allow de novo synthesis of glutamate. Leucine (Leu) is used as example of a BCAA. α-KG α-ketoglutarate, α-KIC α-ketoisocaproic acid, Gln glutamine, Glu glutamate, g.a glutaminase, g.d glutamate dehydrogenase, g.s glutamine synthetase, t.a transaminase. Losses of Gln, primarily by efflux, and of Glc, primarily by catabolism are replaced by de novo synthesis of α-KG in astrocytes and transamination using Leu producing α-KIC. Leu is regenerated from α-KIC in the neuron by transamination from Glu producing α-KG. The Glu is in turn regenerated from the α-KG and NH4+ by gdh. Loss of N via efflux of Gln, Glu, and Leu is made good by net inward flux of Leu and NH4+. The BCAA shuttle greatly reduces the need for net inward flux of Leu as this is only required to make good the metabolic loss of α-KIC

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