The Glutamate/GABA-Glutamine Cycle

Amino Acid Neurotransmitter Homeostasis

  • Arne Schousboe
  • Ursula Sonnewald

Part of the Advances in Neurobiology book series (NEUROBIOL, volume 13)

Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-x
  2. Ursula Sonnewald, Arne Schousboe
    Pages 1-7
  3. Eva Brekke, Tora Sund Morken, Anne B. Walls, Helle Waagepetersen, Arne Schousboe, Ursula Sonnewald
    Pages 43-58
  4. Mary C. McKenna, Gustavo C. Ferreira
    Pages 59-98
  5. M. E. Conway, S. M. Hutson
    Pages 99-132
  6. Javier Márquez, José M. Matés, José A. Campos-Sandoval
    Pages 133-171
  7. Tetsufumi Ueda
    Pages 173-221
  8. Monika Szeliga, Jan Albrecht
    Pages 259-273
  9. Ana I. Amaral, Joana M. Tavares, Ursula Sonnewald, Mark R. N. Kotter
    Pages 275-294
  10. Alexei Verkhratsky, Luca Steardo, Liang Peng, Vladimir Parpura
    Pages 307-326
  11. Arumugam R. Jayakumar, Michael D. Norenberg
    Pages 327-350
  12. Tore Eid, Shaun E. Gruenbaum, Roni Dhaher, Tih-Shih W. Lee, Yun Zhou, Niels Christian Danbolt
    Pages 351-400
  13. Back Matter
    Pages 401-416

About this book


Fundamental biochemical studies of basic brain metabolism focusing on the neuroactive amino acids glutamate and GABA combined with the seminal observation that one of the key enzymes, glutamine synthetase is localized in astroglial cells but not in neurons resulted in the formulation of the term “The Glutamate-Glutamine Cycle.” In this cycle glutamate released from neurons is taken up by surrounding astrocytes, amidated by the action of glutamine synthetase to glutamine which can be transferred back to the neurons. The conversion of glutamate to glutamine is like a stealth technology, hiding the glutamate molecule which would be highly toxic to neurons due to its excitotoxic action. This series of reactions require the concerted and precise interaction of a number of enzymes and plasma membrane transporters, and this volume provides in-depth descriptions of these processes. Obviously such a series of complicated reactions may well be prone to malfunction and therefore neurological diseases are likely to be associated with such malfunction of the enzymes and transporters involved in the cycle. These aspects are also discussed in several chapters of the book.

A number of leading experts in neuroscience including intermediary metabolism, enzymology and transporter physiology have contributed to this book which provides comprehensive discussions of these different aspects of the functional importance of the glutamate-glutamine cycle coupling homeostasis of glutamatergic, excitatory neurotransmission to basic aspects of brain energy metabolism. This book will be of particular importance for students as well as professionals interested in these fundamental processes involved in brain function and dysfunction.


Neuron-astrocyte interaction Glutamine transport Glutamate synthesis GABA synthesis Glutamate-glutamine cycle

Editors and affiliations

  • Arne Schousboe
    • 1
  • Ursula Sonnewald
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of Drug Design and Pharmacology, Faculty of Health and Medical SciencesUniversity of CopenhagenCopenhagenDenmark
  2. 2.Department of NeuroscienceNorwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU)TrondheimNorway

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