The consumption of glucose in the brain peaks during late childhood; yet, whether and how glucose metabolism is differentially regulated in the brain during childhood compared to adulthood remains to be understood. In particular, it remains to be determined how glucose metabolism is involved in behavioral activations such as learning. Here we show that, compared to adult, the juvenile rat hippocampus has significantly higher mRNA levels of several glucose metabolism enzymes belonging to all glucose metabolism pathways, as well as higher levels of the monocarboxylate transporters MCT1 and MCT4 and the glucose transporters endothelial-GLUT1 and GLUT3 proteins. Furthermore, relative to adults, long-term episodic memory formation in juvenile animals requires significantly higher rates of aerobic glycolysis and astrocytic-neuronal lactate coupling in the hippocampus. Only juvenile but not adult long-term memory formation recruits GLUT3, neuronal 6-phosphofructo-2-kinase/fructose-2,6-biphosphatase 3 (PFKFB3) and more efficiently engages glucose in the hippocampus. Hence, compared to adult, the juvenile hippocampus distinctively regulates glucose metabolism pathways, and formation of long-term memory in juveniles involves differential neuronal glucose metabolism mechanisms.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience