Glycine taken up through GLYT1 and GLYT2 heterotransporters into glutamatergic axon terminals of mouse spinal cord elicits release of glutamate by homotransporter reversal and through anion channels

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Glycine concentration-dependently elicited [3H]d-aspartate ([3H]d-ASP) release from superfused mouse spinal cord synaptosomes. Glycine effect was insensitive to strychnine or 5,7-dichlorokynurenic acid, but was prevented by the glycine transporter blocker glycyldodecylamide. Glycine also evoked release of endogenous glutamate, which was sensitive to glycyldodecylamide and abolished in low-Na+ medium. Experiments with purified synaptosomes and gliasomes show that the glycine-evoked [3H]d-ASP release largely originates from glutamatergic nerve terminals. The glycine-evoked [3H]d-ASP release was halved by NFPS, a selective blocker of GLYT1 transporters, or by Org 25543, a selective GLYT2 blocker, and almost abolished by a mixture of the two, suggesting that activation of GLYT1 and GLYT2 present on glutamatergic terminals triggers the release of [3H]d-ASP. Accordingly, confocal microscopy experiments show localization of GLYT1 and GLYT2 in purified synaptosomes immuno-stained for the vesicular glutamate transporter vGLUT1. The glycine effect was independent of extra- and intraterminal Ca2+ ions. It was partly inhibited by the glutamate transporter blocker dl-TBOA and largely prevented by the anion channel blockers niflumic acid and NPPB. To conclude, transporters for glycine (GLYT1 or/and GLYT2) and for glutamate coexist on the same spinal cord glutamatergic terminals. Activation of glycine heterotransporters elicits glutamate release partly by homotransporter reversal and largely through anion channels.

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