Turnover rates of amino acid neurotransmitters in regions of rat cerebellum.
The turnover rates of aspartate, gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA), glutamate, glutamine, alanine, serine, and glycine were measured in five regions of rat cerebellum. Turnover rates of the putative neurotransmitters (aspartate, glutamate, and GABA) were 2-20-fold higher than those of alanine and serine, and generally consistent with the proposed neurotransmitter functions for these amino acids. However, glutamate turnover was high and similar in magnitude in the deep nuclei and granule layer, suggesting possible release, not only from parallel fibers, but from mossy fibers as well. The differential distribution of turnover rates for GABA supports its neuronal release by Purkinje, stellate, basket, and Golgi cells, whereas aspartate may be released by both climbing and mossy fibers. The distribution of glycine turnover rates is consistent with release from Golgi cells, whereas alanine may be released from granule cell parallel fibers. Turnover rates measured in two other motor areas, the striatum and motor cortex, indicated that utilization of these amino acid neurotransmitters is differentially distributed in brain motor regions. The data indicate that turnover rate measurements may be useful in identifying neurotransmitter function where content measurements alone are insufficient.
Freeman, ME; Lane, JD; Smith, JE
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