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JCI early table of contents for March 8, 2013
Date:3/8/2013

Enhanced brain acetate metabolism may reward heavy drinkers

In addition to its well-known effects on the CNS, alcohol consumption has a significant impact on metabolism. After consumption, the body rapidly begins converting ethanol to acetate, which can serve as an energy source for the brain and other organs. Lihong Jiang and colleagues at Yale University used a brain imaging technique, magnetic resonance spectroscopy, to track acetate uptake and metabolism in the brains of heavy drinkers (consumed at least 8 drinks/week) and light drinkers (consumed less than 2 drinks/week). In this issue of the Journal of Clinical Investigation, they report that heavy drinkers had greater, more rapid acetate uptake and metabolism compared to light drinkers. Because ethanol consumption can cause acute drops in blood glucose levels, acetate has the potential to provide a compensatory energetic reward. Additionally, acetate metabolism produces adenosine, which has a sedating effect similar to alcohol. These findings suggest that the provision of acetate and/or enhancement of adenosine during alcohol detoxification could help alleviate withdrawal symptoms.

TITLE:
Increased brain uptake and oxidation of acetate in heavy drinkers

AUTHOR CONTACT:
Lihong Jiang
Yale School of Medicine, New Haven, CT, USA
Phone: 203-785-2953; E-mail: lihong.jiang@yale.edu

View this article at: http://www.jci.org/articles/view/65153?key=fcb4eb3e1a2876711581

Fully wired: planar cell polarity genes guide gut neurons

The enteric nervous system (ENS), the "little brain" that resides within the gut wall, governs motility, secretion, and blood flow in the human gastrointestinal tract. Failure of the ENS to develop normally leads to congenital megacolon (Hirschsprung Disease) while loss of norm
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Contact: Jillian Hurst
press_releases@the-jci.org
Journal of Clinical Investigation
Source:Eurekalert

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