The synthesis of glycogen allows for efficient intracellular storage of glucose molecules in a soluble form that can be rapidly released to enter glycolysis in response to energy demand. Intensive studies of glucose and glycogen metabolism, predominantly in skeletal muscle and liver, have produced innumerable insights into the mechanisms of hormone action, resulting in the award of several Nobel Prizes over the last one hundred years. Glycogen is actually present in all cells and tissues, albeit at much lower levels than found in muscle or liver. However, metabolic and physiological roles of glycogen in other tissues are poorly understood. This series of Minireviews summarizes what is known about the enzymes involved in brain glycogen metabolism and studies that have linked glycogen metabolism to multiple brain functions involving metabolic communication between astrocytes and neurons. Recent studies unexpectedly linking some forms of epilepsy to mutations in two poorly understood proteins involved in glycogen metabolism are also reviewed.
© 2018 Carlson et al.