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Address requests for reprints to Dr. G. F. Cahill, Jr., Joslin Research Laboratory, 170 Pilgrim Road, Boston, Mass. 02215.
This study was supported in part by grants from the U. S. Public Health Service AM-09584-02, AM-09748-02, 8 MO1-FR-31-06, T1-AM-5077-11, 5-RO1-AM-02657-07, 1-T1-HE-05679-02, and HE-08591-02; the Adler Foundation, Inc., Rye, N. Y.; the U. S. Army Medical Research and Development Command (DA-49-193-MO-2337); the John A. Hartford Foundation, Inc., New York, N. Y.; and the Atomic Energy Commission.
A preliminary abstract of part of this work has been published (1).
Catheterization of cerebral vessels in three obese patients undergoing 5-6 wk of starvation demonstrated that β-hydroxybutyrate and acetoacetate replaced glucose as the predominant fuel for brain metabolism. A strikingly low respiratory quotient was also observed, suggesting a carboxylation mechanism as a means of disposing of some of the carbon of the consumed substrates.