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TRANSPORTERS | Function of Cell-Surface Glutamate Transporters in the Brain: An Important Role for Development and Preventing Seizures

Authors
  • Aniksztejn, L.
  • Cattani, A.A.
  • Represa, A.
  • Milh, M.
  • Villeneuve, N.
Type
Book
Journal
Encyclopedia of Basic Epilepsy Research
Publication Date
Jan 01, 2009
Pages
1373–1379
Identifiers
DOI: 10.1016/B978-012373961-2.00159-4
ISBN: 978-0-12-373961-2
Source
Elsevier
Keywords
License
Unknown

Abstract

Glutamate is the main excitatory transmitter in the central nervous system. It plays major roles in the development of the brain, including neurogenesis, migration, and synapse formation. It is also involved in many aspects of normal brain function, including learning and memory. However, glutamate acts also as a powerful neurotoxin and is involved in many neurodegenerative diseases and disorders of uncontrolled excitability – such as epilepsy. The physiological or pathological function of glutamate is, in part, determined by its spatiotemporal concentration profile in the extracellular space, which is in turn controlled by the neuronal and the glial cell-surface membrane glutamate transporters (GluTs). The primary function of these transporters is to uptake and transport glutamate from the extracellular to the intracellular space, where glutamate may be used for neurotransmission or metabolic needs. This article focuses on the main function of the GluTs in the central nervous system, and their key role during development for the control of cortical network activity and the prevention of epileptic seizures.

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