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Glia. 2004 Aug 15;47(3):217-25.

Role of glial amino acid transporters in synaptic transmission and brain energetics.

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Department of Physiology, University College London, London, United Kingdom.


This article reviews how the uptake of neurotransmitter by glial amino acid transporters limits the spatial spread of transmitter to preserve the independent operation of nearby synapses, temporally shapes postsynaptic currents, and regulates the effects of tonic transmitter release. We demonstrate the importance of amino acid uptake and recycling mechanisms for preventing the loss of energetically costly neurotransmitter from the brain, and also examine the suggestion that glutamate uptake into glia plays a key role in regulating the energy production of the brain. Finally, we assess the role of glial amino acid transporters in transmitter recycling pathways.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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