Acute effect of glucose on cerebral blood flow, blood oxygenation, and oxidative metabolism

Feng Xu, Peiying Liu, Juan M. Pascual, Guanghua Xiao, Hao Huang, Hanzhang Lu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

16 Scopus citations


While it is known that specific nuclei of the brain, for example hypothalamus, contain glucose-sensing neurons thus their activity is affected by blood glucose level, the effect of glucose modulation on whole-brain metabolism is not completely understood. Several recent reports have elucidated the long-term impact of caloric restriction on the brain, showing that animals under caloric restriction had enhanced rate of tricarboxylic acid cycle (TCA) cycle flux accompanied by extended life span. However, acute effect of postprandial blood glucose increase has not been addressed in detail, partly due to a scarcity and complexity of measurement techniques. In this study, using a recently developed noninvasive MR technique, we measured dynamic changes in global cerebral metabolic rate of O2 (CMRO2) following a 50 g glucose ingestion (N=10). A time dependent decrease in CMRO2 was observed, which was accompanied by a reduction in oxygen extraction fraction (OEF) with unaltered cerebral blood flow (CBF). At 40 min post-ingestion, the amount of CMRO2 reduction was 7.8±1.6%. A control study without glucose ingestion was performed (N=10), which revealed no changes in CMRO2, CBF, or OEF, suggesting that the observations in the glucose study was not due to subject drowsiness or fatigue after staying inside the scanner. These findings suggest that ingestion of glucose may alter the rate of cerebral metabolism of oxygen in an acute setting.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)707-716
Number of pages10
JournalHuman Brain Mapping
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 1 2015


  • Cerebral blood flow
  • Cerebral metabolic rate of oxygen
  • Cerebral venous oxygenation
  • Glucose
  • Oxygen extraction fraction
  • T-Relaxation-Under-Spin-Tagging MRI

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Anatomy
  • Radiological and Ultrasound Technology
  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging
  • Neurology
  • Clinical Neurology


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