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The cellular distribution of energy use in the CNS and the matching of blood supply to energy usage

David Attwell , Clare Howarth, Claire Peppiatt and Peter Mobbs

Department of Physiology, UCL, UK

Using the measured properties of the membranes of neurons and glial cells it is possible to estimate the energy expended on individual cellular processes involved in signalling, including action potentials, synaptic potentials, the resting potential and transmitter recycling. The sum of these estimated energy usages is close to the measured energy expenditure on signalling in the brain. I will present data comparing the estimated distribution of energy expenditure in rat cortex and cerebellum, and examine mechanisms which increase local blood flow in response to neural activity.