This work was performed to assess age effects on fasting-induced hyperketonemia and to determine if measurement of cerebral glucose utilization by positron emission tomography after 6 to 8 hr of fasting is associated with hyperketonemia that could influence cerebral glucose metabolism. Acetoacetate and 3-hydroxybutyrate were assayed in venous blood from healthy mice of various ages, subjected to an 18-hr fast. At 18 hr of fasting but not at 14 hr or earlier, 3-hydroxybutyrate concentrations were correlated significantly with age; concentrations of acetoacetate and 3-hydroxybutyrate were significantly higher than at earlier times in the fast, p ≤ .05, with elevations of 82% and 214% over baseline, respectively. Acetoacetate and 3-hydroxybutyrate concentrations were higher on the day when cerebral glucose utilization was determined than after a comparable fast at another time. The observed level of hyperketonemia, however, would not substantially influence cerebral glucose metabolism. The findings indicate that aging is associated with increased susceptibility to fasting-induced hyperketonemia.
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