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Neurochem Res. 2010 Jul;35(7):967-75. doi: 10.1007/s11064-010-0153-z. Epub 2010 Mar 21.

The response to postnatal stress: amino acids transporters and PKC activity.

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Institute of Pharmacological Research (ININFA), National Scientific and Technologic Research Council (CONICET) and University of Buenos Aires (UBA), Junín 956, 5th floor, C1113AAD, Buenos Aires, Argentina.


It is well known that animals exposed to stressful stimuli during their early life develop different neurological disorders when they become adults. In this study, we evaluated the effect of acute cold stress on gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA) and L-Serine (L-Ser) transporters in vitro, using the uptake of [(3)H]-GABA and [(3)H]L-Ser by synaptosomes-enriched fractions isolated from rat cerebral cortex during postnatal development. GABA and L-Ser uptake studies in vitro will be used in this investigation as a colateral evidence of changes in the expression of transporters of GABA and L-Ser. We observed that the maximum velocity (V (max)) in L-Ser and GABA uptake after stress session increased in all stages studied. In contrast, K (m) values of L-Ser uptake enhancent in almost age calculated, excluding at PD21 after cold stress during development, at the same time as K (m) (uptake affinity) values of GABA increased in just about age considered but not at PD5 compared with the control group. Finally we investigated the mechanism by which cells regulate the substrate affinity of L-Ser and GABA transporters. We demonstrated a significantly increase in total PKC activity to PD5 from PD21. Pretreatment with PKC inhibitor: staurosporine (SP) led to a restoration of control uptake in several postnatal-days suggesting a relationship between amino acids system and PKC activation. These findings suggest that a single exposure to postnatal cold stress at different periods after birth modifies both GABA and L-Ser transporters and the related increase in total PKC activity could be intracellular events that participate in neuronal plasticity by early life stress, which could be relevant to function of transporters in the adult rat brain.

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