A Role for Glutamate Transporters in Neurodegenerative Diseases

  • Davide Trotti
Part of the Advances in Experimental Medicine and Biology book series (AEMB, volume 513)


In the mammalian central nervous system (CNS) L-glutamic acid acts as a chemical transmitter of excitatory signals. L-glutamate is released in the synaptic cleft and activates a multitude of highly integrated signaling pathways by binding to an array of iono-and metabotropic glutamate receptors. The termination of this chemical neurotransmission occurs via uptake of glutamate by specialized carrier proteins. The reuptake mechanism is capable of maintaining glutamate at levels below 1 p.M in the synaptic cleft. Cells in the CNS possess unique Na+- and K+-coupled transporters with high affinity for glutamate.1 These glutamate transporters are distinct from the recently identified vesicular glutamate transporters, which belong to the family of Na+/phosphate and sulphate transporters.


Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis Glutamate Transporter Synaptic Cleft Glutamate Uptake Transient Global Cerebral Ischemia 
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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2003

Authors and Affiliations

  • Davide Trotti
    • 1
  1. 1.DepartmentofNeurology, Cecil B. Day Laboratory for Neuromuscular ResearchMassachusetts General Hospital, Harvard Medical SchoolCharlestown

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