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Neurochem Int. 2004 Sep;45(4):521-7.

Role of astrocytic transport processes in glutamatergic and GABAergic neurotransmission.

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Department of Pharmacology, The Danish University of Pharmaceutical Sciences, Neuroscience Research Center, Universitetsparken 2, DK-2100 Copenhagen, Denmark.


The fine tuning of both glutamatergic and GABAergic neurotransmission is to a large extent dependent upon optimal function of astrocytic transport processes. Thus, glutamate transport in astrocytes is mandatory to maintain extrasynaptic glutamate levels sufficiently low to prevent excitotoxic neuronal damage. In GABA synapses hyperactivity of astroglial GABA uptake may lead to diminished GABAergic inhibitory activity resulting in seizures. As a consequence of this the expression and functional activity of astrocytic glutamate and GABA transport is regulated in a number of ways at transcriptional, translational and post-translational levels. This opens for a number of therapeutic strategies by which the efficacy of excitatory and inhibitory neurotransmission may be manipulated.

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