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Brain Res Mol Brain Res. 1996 Jun;38(2):294-9.

Changes in glutamate/aspartate transporter (GLAST/GluT-1) mRNA expression following facial nerve transection.

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Department of Neurosurgery, Osaka University School of Medicine, Japan.


Expression of glutamate/aspartate transporter (GLAST/GluT-1) was investigated in the axotomized facial nucleus by in-situ hybridization. Hybridization signals for GLAST mRNA were almost undetectable in the facial nucleus of sham-operated animals. However, the hybridization signals were seen from 3 days after facial nerve transection onward in the nucleus of the affected side. These signals lasted at least 5 weeks. Microautoradiograms showed that small non-neuronal cells in the ipsilateral facial nucleus expressed signals of GLAST mRNA after axotomy. These findings suggest that non-neuronal cells, presumably astrocytes, may protect axotomized motor neurons against glutamate toxicity via up-regulation of GLAST in the facial nucleus.

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