Transportable and Non-transportable Inhibitors of L-glutamate Uptake Produce Astrocytic Stellation and Increase EAAT2 Cell Surface Expression Academic Article uri icon


  • Astrocytic excitatory amino acid transporters (EAATs) regulate excitatory transmission and limit excitotoxicity. Evidence for a functional interface between EAATs and glial fibrillary acidic protein (GFAP) relevant to astrocytic morphology led to investigations of actions of transportable (D-Aspartate (D-Asp) and (2S,3S,4R)-2-(carboxycyclopropyl)glycine (L-CCG-III)) and non-transportable (DL-threo-beta-benzyloxyaspartate (DL-TBOA)) inhibitors of Glu uptake in murine astrocytes. D-Asp (1 mM), L-CCG-III (0.5 mM) and DL-TBOA (0.5 mM) produced time-dependent (24-72 h) reductions in (3)[H]D-Asp uptake (approximately 30-70%) with little or no gliotoxicity. All drugs induced a profound change in phenotype from cobblestone to stellate morphology and image analysis revealed increases in the intensity of GFAP immunolabelling for L-CCG-III and DL-TBOA. Cytochemistry indicated localized changes in F-actin distribution. Cell surface expression of EAAT2, but not EAAT1, was elevated at 72 h. Blockade of Glu uptake by both types of EAAT inhibitor exerts longer-term effects on astrocytic morphology and a compensatory homeostatic rise in EAAT2 abundance.


publication date

  • May 2010