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Nat Rev Neurosci. 2002 Sep;3(9):748-55.

Beyond the role of glutamate as a neurotransmitter.

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  • 1Department of Cell Biology and Anatomy, New York Medical College, Valhalla, New York 10595, USA. maiken_nedergaard@nymc.edu


Glutamate is the principal excitatory neurotransmitter of the central nervous system, but many studies have expanded its functional repertoire by showing that glutamate receptors are present in a variety of non-excitable cells. How does glutamate receptor activation modulate their activity? Do non-excitable cells release glutamate, and, if so, how? These questions remain enigmatic. Here, we review the current knowledge on glutamatergic signalling in non-neuronal cells, with a special emphasis on astrocytes.

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