Neurochemical Research

, Volume 4, Issue 3, pp 339–354 | Cite as

High-affinity uptake of γ-aminobutyric acid in cultured glial and neuronal cells

  • V. J. Balcar
  • J. Mark
  • J. Borg
  • P. Mandel
Original Articles


Both glial and neuronal cells maintained in primary culture were found to accumulate [3H]GABA by an efficient “high-affinity” uptake system (apparentKm=9 μM,Vmax=0.018 and 0.584 nmol/mg/min, respectively) which required sodium ions and was inhibited by 1 mM ouabain. Strychnine and parachloromercuriphenylsulfonate (pCS) (both at 1 mM) also strongly inhibited uptake of [3H]GABA, but metabolic inhibitors (2,4-dinitrophenol, potassium cyanide, and malonate) were without effect. Only three structural analogs of GABA (nipecotate, β-alanine, and 2,4-diaminobutyrate) inhibited uptake of [3H]GABA, while several other compounds with structural similarities to GABA (e.g. glycine,l-proline, and taurine) did not interact with the system. The kinetic studies indicated presence of a second uptake (Km=92 μM,Vmax=0.124 nmol/mg/min) in the primary cultures containing predominantly glioblasts. On the other hand, only one of the neuronal cell lines transformed by simian virus SV40 appeared to accumulate [3H]GABA against a concentration gradient. ApparentKm of this uptake was relatively high (819 μM), and it was only weakly inhibited by 1 mM ouabain and 1 mM pCS. The structural specificity also differed from that of the uptake observed in the primary cultures. Significantly, none of the nontransformed continuous cell lines of either tumoral (glioma, C6; neuroblastoma, Ml; MINN) or normal (NN; I6) origin actively accumulated [3H]GABA. It is suggested that for the neurochemical studies related to GABA and requiring homogeneous cell populations, the primary cultures offer a better experimental model than the continuous cell lines.


Neuronal Cell Neuroblastoma Taurine Primary Culture Ouabain 
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Copyright information

© Plenum Publishing Corporation 1979

Authors and Affiliations

  • V. J. Balcar
    • 1
  • J. Mark
    • 1
  • J. Borg
    • 1
  • P. Mandel
    • 1
  1. 1.Centre de Neurochimie du CNRSInstitut de Chimie BiologiqueStrasbourg CedexFrance

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