Glutamate Uptake Triggers Transporter-Mediated GABA Release from Astrocytes
The ways of coupling neuronal with glial compartments in natural physiology was investigated in microdialysis experiments by monitoring extracellular concentration of amino acids in the brain of anaesthetized rats. We hypothesized that extracellular [Glu], [Gln] and [Tau] patterns would be state-dependent. This was tested by stimulation of N-methyl-D-aspartate (NMDA) receptors, by inhibition of Glu uptake or by local depolarization with a high-K(+) dialysate, coupled with the addition of Co(2+) to block Ca(2+) influx. The results showed that (1) extracellular [Gln] was low whereas [Glu] and [Tau] were high during infusion of NMDA (0.5-1.0 mM) or high-K(+) (80 mM) in the hippocampus and ventrobasal thalamus, (2) hippocampal extracellular [Glu], [Gln] and [Tau] were increased in response to the Glu uptake inhibitor, L-trans-pyrrolidine-2, 4-dicarboxilic acid (tPDC, 0.5-3.0 mM), in a concentration-dependent manner, (3) high-K(+)-induced increase of extracellular [Glu] was partially blocked by the addition of 10 mM CoCl(2) with the high-K(+) dialysate in the hippocampus. Searching for main correlations between changes in [Glu], [Gln] and [Tau] by calculating partial correlations and with the use of factor analyses we found, the primary response of the mammalian brain to persistent depolarization is the neuronal uptake of [Gln] and release of [Tau] thereupon, acting independently of Glu changes. When glial and neuronal uptake of Glu is blocked, releases of Tau occur from neuronal as well as glial compartments accompanied by increases of [Gln] in the mammalian brain.