Generalized decrease in brain glucose metabolism during fasting in humans studied by PET

C. Redies, L. J. Hoffer, C. Beil, E. B. Marliss, A. C. Evans, F. Lariviere, S. Marrett, E. Meyer, M. Diksic, A. Gjedde, A. M. Hakim

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

32 Scopus citations


In prolonged fasting, the brain derives a large portion of its oxidative energy from the ketone bodies, β-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 < 0.002). The whole brain rate constant for glucose tracer phosphorylation fell to 51% of control values (P < 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 < 0.01). Regional blood-brain barrier transfer coefficients for glucose tracer, regional oxygen utilization, blood flow, and blood volume were unchanged.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)19/6
JournalAmerican Journal of Physiology - Endocrinology and Metabolism
Issue number6
StatePublished - 1989

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism
  • Physiology
  • Physiology (medical)


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