Rachel Fletcher

Rachel Fletcher

Effects of a Ketogenic Diet on Prefrontal Cortical and Hippocampal Membrane and Cytosolic GLUT4 levels


Rachel Fletcher, Sara Burke


Dr. Sara Burke


College of Medicine


Around 20% of the current older population suffer from at least one neuropsychiatric disorder, and with the proportion of the 60+ population expected to double by the year 2050, this is a prevalent issue. In these neuropsychiatric disorders, it has been seen that the interactions between the hippocampus (HPC) and the prefrontal cortex (PFC) begin to falter, and both of these brain regions are essential in higher order brain function. In previous studies done by the Burke lab, we have investigated the effect of the Ketogenic Diet (KD) on some of the neurocognitive deficits associated with aging. In these studies it was seen that when on the KD, the compromised glucose pathways can be bypassed; though these specific changes that lead to this bypass is still unknown. This suggests that the KD may affect the GLUT4 mobilization in these specific brain regions. This study specifically looked at GLUT4 receptors in the HPC and PFC, and how they are affected after being on the KD when compared to a control diet, in both young and aged rats. Western blotting was used to quantify the levels of GLUT4 receptors in both the membrane and cytosolic portions of the HPC, and the same will be done with the PFC.


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