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J Physiol. 2011 Feb 1;589(Pt 3):481-8. doi: 10.1113/jphysiol.2010.199539. Epub 2010 Nov 29.

Visualization of glutamate as a volume transmitter.

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1
Department of Pharmacology, Graduate School of Medicine, The University of Tokyo, Tokyo, Japan.

Abstract

Glutamate is the major excitatory neurotransmitter in the central nervous system. Although glutamate mediates synaptically confined point-to-point transmission, it has been suggested that under certain conditions glutamate may escape from the synaptic cleft (glutamate spillover), accumulate in the extrasynaptic space, and mediate volume transmission to regulate important brain functions. However, the inability to directly measure glutamate dynamics around active synapses has limited our understanding of glutamatergic volume transmission. The recent development of a family of fluorescent glutamate indicators has enabled the visualization of extrasynaptic glutamate dynamics in brain tissues. In this topical review, we examine glutamate as a volume transmitter based on novel results of glutamate imaging in the brain.

PMID:
21115644
PMCID:
PMC3055537
DOI:
10.1113/jphysiol.2010.199539
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article
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