Felipe Baeza

Felipe Baeza Lehnert earned the biochemistry degree from the Universidad Austral de Chile and from 2011 is member of the energy metabolism team lead by Dr. Felipe Barros Olmedo. Since the year 2015 he has pursued his doctorate degree, funded by a CONICYT fellowship.


Throughout his scientific work he has been interested in the brain energy metabolism and has directed his attention to questions such as; which is the preferential neuronal energy substrate during basal and stimulated activity, which is the relevance of cytosolic NADH and the malate-aspartate shuttle in the mitochondrial energization and which is the mechanism that couple energy usage, triggered by synaptic activity, and energy production. In order to answer this questions, he has used a palette of FRET-based fluorescent sensors for the measurement of glucose, pyruvate, lactate, ATP, ATP:ADP, NADH:NAD+, and fluorescent dyes for Na+ and Ca2+ measurements.


The standardization of an electric field stimulation protocol that mimics cerebral synaptic activity, has allowed Felipe to quantified second-to-second the energy burden that neurotransmission imposes to neurons and map the early response of glucose, pyruvate and lactate as energy substrates. The main finding is a novel energy control system not hitherto described in cellular biology, that operates during the first seconds of neurotransmission and that keeps the ATP level invariable independent of the increase workload. This mechanism operates only within a physiological range of stimuli, being unable to keep the coupling upon over excitation. The former with relevance in different brain pathologies, yet the loss of this mechanism, might be the trigger of the disease.


Selected Publications


Non-Canonical Control of Neuronal Energy Status by the Na+ Pump. (In Press)

Baeza-Lehnert F, Saab AS, Gutiérrez R, Larenas V, Díaz E, Horn M, Vargas M, Hösli L, Stobart J, Hirrlinger J, Weber B, Barros LF.

Cell Metab. 2018 Nov 27. pii: S1550-4131(18)30682-X. doi: 10.1016/j.cmet.2018.11.005. [Epub ahead of print]


Near-critical GLUT1 and Neurodegeneration.

Barros LF, San Martín A, Ruminot I, Sandoval PY, Fernández-Moncada I, Baeza-Lehnert F, Arce-Molina R, Contreras-Baeza Y, Cortés-Molina F, Galaz A, Alegría K.

J Neurosci Res. 2017 Nov;95(11):2267-2274. doi: 10.1002/jnr.23998. Epub 2017 Feb 2.


In Vivo Evidence for a Lactate Gradient from Astrocytes to Neurons.

Mächler P, Wyss MT, Elsayed M, Stobart J, Gutierrez R, von Faber-Castell A, Kaelin V, Zuend M, San Martín A, Romero-Gómez I, Baeza-Lehnert F, Lengacher S, Schneider BL, Aebischer P, Magistretti PJ, Barros LF, Weber B.

Cell Metab. 2016 Jan 12;23(1):94-102. doi: 10.1016/j.cmet.2015.10.010.


NH4(+) triggers the release of astrocytic lactate via mitochondrial pyruvate shunting.

Lerchundi R, Fernández-Moncada I, Contreras-Baeza Y, Sotelo-Hitschfeld T, Mächler P, Wyss MT, Stobart J, Baeza-Lehnert F, Alegría K, Weber B, Barros LF.

Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2015 Sep 1;112(35):11090-5. doi: 10.1073/pnas.1508259112.


Single-cell imaging tools for brain energy metabolism: a review.

San Martín A, Sotelo-Hitschfeld T, Lerchundi R, Fernández-Moncada I, Ceballo S, Valdebenito R, Baeza-Lehnert F, Alegría K, Contreras-Baeza Y, Garrido-Gerter P, Romero-Gómez I, Barros LF. Neurophotonics. 2014 Jul;1(1):011004. doi: 10.1117/1.NPh.1.1.011004.


Imaging Mitochondrial Flux in Single Cells with a FRET Sensor for Pyruvate.

San Martín A, Ceballo S, Baeza-Lehnert F, Lerchundi R, Valdebenito R, Contreras-Baeza Y, Alegría K. and Barros LF.

PLoS ONE (2014) 9(1): e85780. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0085780


Small is fast: astrocytic glucose and lactate metabolism at cellular resolution.

Barros LF, San Martín A, Sotelo-Hitshfeld T, Lerchundi R, Fernández-Moncada I, Ruminot I, Gutiérrez R, Valdebenito R, Ceballo S, Alegría K, Baeza-Lehnert F and Espinoza D

Front. Cell. Neurosci. (2013) 7:27. doi: 10.3389/fncel.2013.00027
Phone : +56-63-234524
E-Mail : lc.scec@azeabf