GLT-1, the major glutamate transporter in the adult brain, is abundantly expressed in astrocytic processes enveloping synapses. By limiting glutamate escape into the surrounding neuropil, GLT-1 preserves the spatial specificity of synaptic signaling. Here we show that the amyloid-? peptide A?1-42 markedly prolongs the extracellular lifetime of synaptically released glutamate by reducing GLT-1 surface expression in mouse astrocytes and that this effect is prevented by the vitamin E derivative Trolox. These findings indicate that astrocytic glutamate transporter dysfunction may play an important role in the pathogenesis of Alzheimers disease and suggest possible mechanisms by which several current treatment strategies could protect against the disease.
The glutamate uptake transporter GLT-1 is best understood for its critical role in preventing brain seizures. Increasing evidence argues that GLT-1 also modulates, and is modulated by, metabolic processes that influence glucose homeostasis. To investigate further the potential role of GLT-1 in these regards, the authors examined GLT-1 expression in pancreas and found that mature multimeric GLT-1 protein is stably expressed in the pancreas of wild-type, but not GLT-1 knockout, mice. There are three primary functional carboxyl-terminus GLT-1 splice variants, called GLT-1a, b, and c. Brain and liver express all three variants; however, the pancreas expresses GLT-1a and GLT-1b but not GLT-1c. Quantitative real time-PCR further revealed that while GLT-1a is the predominant GLT-1 splice variant in brain and liver, GLT-1b is the most abundant splice variant expressed in pancreas. Confocal microscopy and immunohistochemistry showed that GLT-1a and GLT-1b are expressed in both islet ?- and ?-cells. GLT-1b was also expressed in exocrine ductal domains. Finally, glutamine synthetase was coexpressed with GLT-1 in islets, which suggests that, as with liver and brain, one possible role of GLT-1 in the pancreas is to support glutamine synthesis.
The choroid plexus is a structure within each ventricle of the brain that is composed of fenestrated vessels surrounded by secretory epithelial cells. The epithelial cells are linked by tight junctions to create a permeability barrier. The epithelial cells are derived from neuroectoderm, and are thus defined by some authors as a subtype of macroglia. Glutamate is a tightly regulated substance in the CSF, as it is in the rest of the brain. In the brain macroglia express multiple sodium dependent and independent glutamate transporters and are the main regulators of extracellular glutamate. However, the identities of the transporters in the choroid plexus and their localisations have remained poorly defined. In this study we examined the expression and distribution of multiple splice variants of classical sodium-dependent glutamate transporters, as well as the cystine-glutamate antiporter, and the PDZ protein NHERF1, (which acts as a molecular anchor for proteins such as the glutamate transporter GLAST). We identified three forms of sodium-dependent transporters (GLAST1a, GLAST1c and GLT1b) that are expressed at the apical surface of the epithelial cells, a location that matches the distribution of NHERF1 and the cystine-glutamate antiporter. We propose that this coincident localisation of GLAST1a/GLAST1c/GLT1b and the cystine-glutamate antiporter would permit the cyclical trafficking of glutamate and thus optimise the accumulation of cystine for the formation of glutathione in the choroid plexus.
The familial and sporadic forms of Alzheimers disease (AD) have an identical pathology with a severe disparity in the time of onset . The pathological similarity suggests that epigenetic processes may phenocopy the Familial Alzheimers disease (FAD) mutations within sporadic AD. Numerous groups have demonstrated that FAD mutations in presenilin result in loss of function of gamma-secretase mediated APP cleavage , , , . Accordingly, ER stress is prominent within the pathologically impacted brain regions in AD patients  and is reported to inhibit APP trafficking through the secretory pathway , . As the maturation of APP and the cleaving secretases requires trafficking through the secretory pathway , , , we hypothesized that ER stress may block trafficking requisite for normal levels of APP cleavage and that the small molecular chaperone 4-phenylbutyrate (PBA) may rescue the proteolytic deficit.
Genome-wide screens were performed to identify transmembrane proteins that mediate axonal growth, guidance and target field innervation of somatosensory neurons. One gene, Linx (alias Islr2), encoding a leucine-rich repeat and immunoglobulin (LIG) family protein, is expressed in a subset of developing sensory and motor neurons. Domain and genomic structures of Linx and other LIG family members suggest that they are evolutionarily related to Trk receptor tyrosine kinases (RTKs). Several LIGs, including Linx, are expressed in subsets of somatosensory and motor neurons, and select members interact with TrkA and Ret RTKs. Moreover, axonal projection defects in mice harboring a null mutation in Linx resemble those in mice lacking Ngf, TrkA, and Ret. In addition, Linx modulates NGF-TrkA- and GDNF-GFRalpha1/Ret-mediated axonal extension in cultured sensory and motor neurons, respectively. These findings show that LIGs physically interact with RTKs and modulate their activities to control axonal extension, guidance and branching.
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