Neuroenergetics: Modeling of brain cell metabolic phenotypes

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Background: Brain cells were shown to rely on two energy subtrates to sustain their activity: glucose and lactate. Each of these substrates are taken up by brain cells via specific transporters and metabolized in classical biochemical pathways. The critical question remains: Between metabolism and transport, what is the limiting step for the utilization of each energy substrate under resting vs. activated condition?

Goal: The goal of the project is to model different brain cell metabolic phenotypes (neuron vs astrocyte) in order to determine the biochemical characteristics specific to each cell type. Also, we want to investigate whether transport of the main energy substrates for the brain, glucose and lactate, can become rate-limiting following an increase in cerebral activity.

Mathematical tools: The student will learn to use a mathematical software (Matlab) in order to conduct simulations from a given set of parameters and equations derived from Michaelis-Menten kinetics.

Biological or Medical aspects: The “biology supervisor” will provide background of the main aspects related to brain energy metabolism and Michaelis-Menten kinetics.

Supervisors: Luc Pellerin & Aitana Morton de Lachapelle

Students: tba

Reference: <biblio>#barros pmid=15749163</biblio>

Presentation : Media:Presentation_neuroenergetics.ppt

Intermediate students presentation : Media:Présentation_intermédiaire_neuro2010.ppt

(Project in Course: "Solving Biological Problems that require Math")