, Volume 21, Issue 10, pp 1167-1171

Effect of diabetes on levels and uptake of putative amino acid neurotransmitters in rat retina and retinal pigment epithelium

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Free amino acid levels and high affinity uptake of glutamate, aspartate γ-aminobutyrate, glycine and taurine were studied in retina and retinal pigment epithelium of streptozotocin diabetic rats. Results show that experimental diabetes produces a generalized fall in the content of free amino acids in both retina and retinal pigment epithelium. With regard to the high affinity uptake, in the two tissues of diabetic animals showed decreased aspartate uptake, enhanced taurine and γ-aminobutyrate uptake, whereas that of glycine and glutamate was unchanged. These results might suggest that diabetes causes alterations of specific amino acid transport systems and/or alterations of some cell populations.