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Brain Glucosensing: Physiological Implications, pp. 49-85 $100.00
Authors:  (Sergio Polakof, Laboratorio de Fisioloxía Animal, Departamento de Bioloxía Funcional e Ciencias da Saúde, Facultade de Bioloxía, Universidade de Vigo, Vigo, Spain)
Abstract:
Glucose is an integral part of whole-body energy homeostasis and is tightly regulated by numerous endocrine, neuronal and behavioural systems, which ensure that glucose levels in the blood are maintained within a narrow physiological range.
The body continuously adapts its metabolism to keep blood glucose concentrations at a constant value. Glucose homeostasis in man and most other studied mammals is maintained by feedback designed to keep the blood glucose levels close to a set point characteristic for each species. Key to this homeostatic control is the existence of sensors located in different parts of the body that continuously monitor blood glucose variations. They respond to changes in glycemia by triggering hormonal secretion or activation of the autonomic nervous system to control glucose uptake, utilization or production and also to control energy expenditure and food intake.
The reliance of the brain on glucose to meet its energy demands suggests that, within the context of glucose homeostasis, brain glucosensing may predominate. Specialized neurons able to modulate their firing activity in response to changes in extracellular glucose levels were first demonstrated in the 1960s. These are glucose-excited (GE; previously called glucose responsive) neurons, which increase their firing rate when extracellular glucose concentrations elevate, or glucose-inhibited (GI; previously called glucose-sensitive) neurons, that are activated by a decrease in extracellular glucose concentration or by cellular glucoprivation. Both types of neurons are highly represented in brain regions involved in the control of energy homeostasis and food intake, suggesting that are able to receive inputs from blood nutrient and hormone levels, as well as from peripheral and central sensory systems, and use this information to generate the appropriate physiological response. 


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Brain Glucosensing: Physiological Implications, pp. 49-85