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Glia. 2003 Feb;41(3):260-75.

Highly differential expression of SN1, a bidirectional glutamine transporter, in astroglia and endothelium in the developing rat brain.

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Department of Anatomy, Institute of Basic Medical Sciences, University of Oslo, Oslo, Norway.


The transmitters glutamate and GABA also subserve trophic action and are required for normal development of the brain. They are formed from glutamine, which may be synthesized in glia or extracted from the blood. In the adult, the glutamine transporter SN1 is expressed in the astroglia. SN1 works in both directions, depending on the concentration gradients of its substrates and cotransported ions, and is thought to regulate extracellular glutamine and to supply the neurons with the transmitter precursor. In this article, we have quantified the expression and studied the localization of SN1 at different developmental stages. SN1 is expressed in astroglia throughout the CNS from embryonic stages through adulthood. No indication of SN1 staining in neuronal elements has been obtained at any stage. Quantitative immunoblotting of whole brain extracts demonstrates increasing expression of SN1 from P0, reaching a peak at P14, twice the adult level. A moderate and slower rise and fall of the expression levels of SN1 occurs in the cerebellum. Strong transient SN1-like staining is also found in Bergmann glia and vascular endothelium in the first postnatal weeks. Strong intracellular staining in the same time period suggests a high rate of SN1 synthesis in the early postnatal period. This coincides with the increasing levels of glutamate and GABA in the CNS and with the time course of synaptogenesis. This study suggests that the expression of SN1 is highly regulated, correlating with the demand for glutamine during the critical period of development.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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