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neuron energy use

jimmyd at cc.gatech.edu jimmyd at cc.gatech.edu
Sat Oct 24 12:19:47 EST 1998

I want to know a few things about Neuron energy use.
Please email me any ansewrs!  Thanks in advance.

* Neurons get all their energy from glucose, right? (Kolb & Whishaw 1996, p

* The mitochondria turns glucose into ATP. Does the cell body have a storage
of ATP, or does the mitochondria produce it as needed?

* How much glucose (turned into ATP) is needed to fire a neuron? If the firing
rate of a neuron is 700 per second, what is the rate of glucose use?

* If neurons get all their energy from glucose, then what is the purpose of
oxygen in the brain?

* This is my conception: The dendrites send a message to the soma indicating
the change of firing rate. The soma takes energy from the bloodstream to
raise the firing rate. This message is in the form of the chemical state
inside the dendrites and soma. What is wrong with this conception?

The following questions assume the above conception is correct.
* What happens if a neuron is heavily stimulated with messages from its
dendrites, but there is not enough energy in the local bloodstream to increase
the firing rate very much?

* What happens to the message after the rate changes (or doesn't in the case
of low energy)?


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