The Laboratory of Metabolic Control is centrally interested in the mechanisms that underwrite the maintenance of cellular energy homeostasis. Understanding these mechanisms is important because many disease states are characterized by a lowering of the phosphorylation potential (i.e., the ATP/ADPxPi ratio), which can be influenced by inorganic ion gradients across the cellular membrane. The Section’s work involves the development of new techniques, which use capillary electrophoresis and mass spectrometry to quantify the products and reactants of metabolic pathways, as well as determine the energy flux through pathways of interest. The Section has used this and other techniques (e.g., “brain blowing”) to provide a metabolomic survey of the effects of acetate metabolism on the brain. Importantly, this survey showed that the metabolism of acetate lowers the energy required to hydrolyze ATP. The Section’s second area of specialization involves the development of therapeutic ketones. Ketones can be used to treat epilepsy and Parkinson’s disease, but ketonic diets are not suitable for patients over 17. Accordingly, the Section has developed a novel ketone body called D-β-hydroxybutyrate. This compound elevates the energy required for ATP hydrolysis, it protects neurons against MPTP (a neurotoxin resulting in Parkinsonism in humans), and it partially inhibits NADH dehydrogenase by rotenone. The section is currently developing other therapeutic ketones for use by the military.