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Neurochem Res. 1996 Sep;21(9):1053-60.

Amino acid neurotransmission: dynamics of vesicular uptake.

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Norwegian Defence Research Establishment, Division for Environmental Toxicology, Kjeller, Norway.


Glutamate, GABA and glycine, the major neurotransmitters in CNS, are taken up and stored in synaptic vesicles by a Mg(2+)-ATP dependent process. The main driving force for vesicular glutamate uptake is the membrane potential, whereas both the membrane potential and the proton gradient contribute to the uptake of GABA and glycine. Glutamate is taken up by a specific transporter with no affinity for aspartate. Evans blue and related dyes are competitive inhibitors of the uptake of glutamate. GABA, beta-alanine, and glycine are taken up by the same family of transporter molecules. Aspartate, taurine, and proline are not taken up by any synaptic vesicle preparations. It is suggested that vesicular uptake and release are characteristics that identify these amino acids as neurotransmitters. We also discuss that "quanta" in the brain are not necessarily related the content of neurotransmitter in the synaptic vesicles, but rather to postsynaptic events.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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