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Brain Res. 2002 Mar 8;929(2):202-9.

Glial transport of the neuromodulator D-serine.

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Department of Biochemistry, Federal University of Rio de Janeiro, Rio de Janeiro 21491-590, Brazil.


D-Serine is an endogenous agonist of NMDA receptors that occurs in astrocytes in gray matter areas of the brain. D-Serine is synthesized from L-serine by the activity of a glial enriched serine racemase, but little is known on the properties of D-serine transport and factors regulating its synaptic concentration. In the present report we characterize the transport of D-serine in astrocytes. In primary astrocyte cultures, D-serine uptake is dependent on sodium ions and exhibits both low affinity and low specificity for D-serine. The kinetics of D-serine transport resembles that of ASCT type transporters as several small neutral amino acids strongly inhibit the uptake of D-serine. D-Serine fluxes are coupled to counter-movement of L-serine and to a less extent to other small neutral amino acids. Thus, addition of D-serine to cell cultures elicits robust efflux of intracellular L-serine. Conversely, physiological concentrations of L-serine induce efflux of preloaded D-serine from astrocytes. L-Serine was more effective than kainate, which have been previously shown to induce D-serine release from astrocytes upon stimulation of non-NMDA type of glutamate receptors. The features of D-serine transport we describe reveal possible new mechanisms controlling the synaptic concentration of D-serine.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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