Glutamate Metabolism in Primary Cultures of Rat Brain Astrocytes: Rationale and Initial Efforts Toward Developing a Compartmental Model

  • Mary C. McKenna
Part of the Advances in Experimental Medicine and Biology book series (AEMB, volume 537)


During the past 20 years, there has been a tremendous increase in neuroscience research and in the amount of information known about the brain. However, there is a great need to integrate the many bits of knowledge about subcellular processes and molecular mechanisms into the broader context of cellular function and into an overall picture of the dynamic neuronal/glial interactions essential for brain function. The area of brain energy metabolism and neurotransmission has undergone a dramatic resurgence in recent years. It is a field replete with exciting new findings that have overturned long-held ‘dogmas’ and contributed greatly to our understanding of how closely disturbances in energy metabolism are associated with clinical conditions that involve neurodegeneration. The rapid advances in this field are a result of sophisticated methodologies including 13C, 15N, 31P, and 1H nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy (NMR) and GC/MS, in vivo microdialysis, implantable electrodes capable of measuring metabolite changes in real time, in vivo imaging, and molecular biology techniques. These techniques have enabled researchers to ask more complex questions about mechanisms underlying metabolic alterations in both normal and pathological conditions.


Nuclear Magnetic Resonance Primary Culture Glutamine Synthetase Tracer Model Glutamine Metabolism 
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© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2003

Authors and Affiliations

  • Mary C. McKenna
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of PediatricsUniversity of Maryland School of MedicineBaltimore

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