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ISRN Pathology
Volume 2011 (2011), Article ID 930729, 17 pages
http://dx.doi.org/10.5402/2011/930729
Review Article

Glycogen as a Putative Target for Diagnosis and Therapy in Brain Pathologies

Neurobioloy Laboratory, University of Orléans, Chartres Street, 45067 Orléans Cedex 2, France

Received 20 May 2011; Accepted 19 June 2011

Academic Editors: R. Pluta and F. J. Rodriguez

Copyright © 2011 Jean-François Cloix and Tobias Hévor. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Abstract

Brain glycogen, a glucose polymer, is now considered as a functional energy store to the brain. Indeed, when neurons outpace their own possibilities to provide themselves with energy, astrocytic metabolism is in charge of feeding neurons, since brain glycogen synthesis is mainly due to astrocyte. Therefore, malfunctions or perturbations of astrocytic glycogen content, synthesis, or mobilization may be involved in processes of brain pathologies. This is the case, for example, in epilepsies and gliomas, two different situations in which, brain needs high level of energy during acute or chronic conditions. The purpose of the present paper is to demonstrate how brain glycogen might be relevant in these two pathologies and to pinpoint the possibilities of considering glycogen as a tool for diagnostic and therapeutic approaches in brain pathologies.