The Complexity of Astroglial Metabolism


Senior Member

I came across this paper while searching for why malic acid might make my brainfog/lethargy worse (it plays a strong role in astrocytes). I didn't find anything about malic acid, but I was impressed by the complexity of astroglial metabolism.

"In this work, we review current evidence demonstrating that mitochondrial central carbon metabolism in astrocytes regulates overall brain bioenergetics, neurotransmitter homeostasis and redox balance. Emphasis is placed in detailing carbon source utilization (glucose and fatty acids), anaplerotic inputs and cataplerotic outputs, as well as carbon shuttles to neurons, which highlight the metabolic specialization of astrocytic mitochondria and its relevance to brain function."

"Astrocytes can also be considered the master regulators of brain metabolism."

"Astrocytes originate from the neuroectoderm. Recent estimates suggest they account for between 19 and 40% of the glial population (with an estimated glial to neuron ratio of ∼1:1), and a strong regional variation within the CNS" That caught my attention, since that sort of variation might explain why ME varies so much among individuals. In one person, dysfunction might take place in the autonomic portion, while in another, in the muscle control portion.

With all that complexity in astrocyte metabolism, which regulates overall brain metabolism, astrocytes sure seems a likely culprit in the core dysfunction of ME.