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Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 1994 Oct 25;91(22):10625-9.

Glutamate uptake into astrocytes stimulates aerobic glycolysis: a mechanism coupling neuronal activity to glucose utilization.

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1
Institut de Physiologie, Université de Lausanne, Switzerland.

Abstract

Glutamate, released at a majority of excitatory synapses in the central nervous system, depolarizes neurons by acting at specific receptors. Its action is terminated by removal from the synaptic cleft mostly via Na(+)-dependent uptake systems located on both neurons and astrocytes. Here we report that glutamate, in addition to its receptor-mediated actions on neuronal excitability, stimulates glycolysis--i.e., glucose utilization and lactate production--in astrocytes. This metabolic action is mediated by activation of a Na(+)-dependent uptake system and not by interaction with receptors. The mechanism involves the Na+/K(+)-ATPase, which is activated by an increase in the intracellular concentration of Na+ cotransported with glutamate by the electrogenic uptake system. Thus, when glutamate is released from active synapses and taken up by astrocytes, the newly identified signaling pathway described here would provide a simple and direct mechanism to tightly couple neuronal activity to glucose utilization. In addition, glutamate-stimulated glycolysis is consistent with data obtained from functional brain imaging studies indicating local nonoxidative glucose utilization during physiological activation.

PMID:
7938003
PMCID:
PMC45074
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article
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