Neurochemical Research

, Volume 6, Issue 8, pp 873–884 | Cite as

Uptake of leucine, lysine, aspartic acid, and glycine into isolated neurons and astrocytes

  • R. Hannuniemi
  • S. S. Oja
Original Articles


The uptake of tritium-labeledl-leucine,l-lysine,l-aspartic acid, and glycine by neurons and astrocytes isolated from the cerebral cortex of 3-week-old rats was followed for varying periods up to 40 min at amino acid concentrations from 1 to 2000 μmol/liter in medium. The effects of a low-sodium (15.5 mmol/liter) medium on the uptake were also studied. The influx of the amino acids was faster into astrocytes than into neurons. Leucine penetrated into the cells faster than the other amino acids. Amino acid transport was mainly saturable at the lowest amino acid concentrations studied, whereas nonsaturable penetration into the cells dominated in the millimolar concentration range. The saturable transport comprised only one transport system with relatively small transport constants, resembling in nature the so-called high-affinity transport. The maximal velocities of transport were about two times higher in astrocytes than in neurons. In neurons the partial substitution of sodium by choline in medium had the most effect in reducing the influx of glycine and aspartic acid. In astrocytes the effects were generally less pronounced. The results suggest that extracellular amino acids generally penetrate more readily into astrocytes than into neurons. Both cell types transport essential amino acids more effectively than other amino acids.


Glycine Choline Leucine Aspartic Acid Essential Amino Acid 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. 1.
    Archer, E. G., Breakefield, X. O., andSharata, M. N. 1977. Transport of tyrosine, phenylalanine. tryptophan and glycine in neuroblastoma clones. J. Neurochem. 28:127–135.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  2. 2.
    Balcar, V. J., Borg, J., andMandel, P. 1977. High affinity uptake ofl-glutamate andl-aspartate by glial cells. J. Neurochem. 28:87–93.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  3. 3.
    Bauman, A., Bourgoin, S., Benda, P., Glowinski, J., andHamon, M. 1974. Characteristics of tryptophan accumulation by glial cells. Brain Res. 66:253–263.Google Scholar
  4. 4.
    Bennett, J. P., Jr., Logan, W. J., andSnyder, S. H. 1973. Amino acids as central nervous transmiters: The influence of ions, amino acid analogues, and ontogeny on transport systems forl-glutamic andl-aspartic acids and glycine into central nervous synaptosomes of the rat. J. Neurochem. 21:1533–1550.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  5. 5.
    Cohen, S. R., andLajtha, A. 1972. Amino acid transport. Pages 543–572,in Lajtha, A. (ed.) Handbook of Neurochemistry, Vol. 7, Plenum Press, New York.Google Scholar
  6. 6.
    Faivre-Bauman, A., Rossier, J., andBenda, P. 1974. Glutamate accumulation by clonal glial cells. Brain Res. 76:371–375.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  7. 7.
    Hamberger, A. 1971. Amino acid uptake in neuronal and glial cell fractions from rabbit cerebral cortex. Brain Res. 31:169–178.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  8. 8.
    Hannuniemi, R., Pitkänen, R. I., andOja, S. S. 1980. Bulk isolation of viable neurons and astrocytes from rat cerebral cortex. Acta Univ. Oul. A 97. Biochem. 29:179–188.Google Scholar
  9. 9.
    Henn, F. A., andHamberger, A. 1971. Glial cell function: Uptake of transmitter substances. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. U.S.A. 68:2686–2690.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  10. 10.
    Henn, F. A., Goldstein, M. N., andHamberger, A. 1974. Uptake of the neurotransmitter candidate glutamate by glia. Nature 249:663–664.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  11. 11.
    Hertz, L. 1978. Energy metabolism of glial cells. Pages 121–132,in Schoffeniels, E., Franck, G., Tower, D. B., andHertz, L. (eds.), Dynamic Properties of Glia Cells, Pergamon Press, Oxford.Google Scholar
  12. 12.
    Hertz, L., Schousboe, A., Boechler, N., Mukerji, S., andFedoroff, S. 1978. Kinetic characteristics of the glutamate uptake into normal astrocytes in cultures. Neurochem. Res. 3:1–14.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  13. 13.
    Hösli, E., andHösli, L. 1976. Uptake ofl-glutamate andl-aspartate in neurones and glial cells of cultured human and rat spinal cord. Experientia 32:219–222.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  14. 14.
    Hösli, L., Hösli, E., Andrés, P. F., andWolff, J. R. 1975. Amino acid transmitters—action and uptake in neurons and glial cells of human and rat CNS tissue culture. Pages 473–488,in Santini, M. (ed.), Golgi Centennial Symposium. Proceedings. Raven Press, New York.Google Scholar
  15. 15.
    Iversen, L. L., andKelly, J. S. 1975. Uptake and metabolism of γ-aminobutyric acid by neurones and glial cells. Biochem. Pharmacol. 24:933–938.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  16. 16.
    Lajtha, A., andSershen, H. 1975. Inhibition of amino acid uptake by the absence of Na+ in slices of brain. J. Neurochem. 24:667–672.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  17. 17.
    Lasher, R. A. 1975. Uptake of GABA by neuronal and nonneuronal cells in dispersed cell cultures of postnatal rat cerebellum. J. Neurobiol. 6:597–608.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  18. 18.
    Logan, W. J. 1976. Amino acid transport by two glial cell lines and by proliferating glia. Exp. Neurol. 53:431–443.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  19. 19.
    Nagata, Y., Mikoshiba, K., andTsukada, Y. 1974. Neuronal cell body enriched and glial cell enriched fractions from young and adult rat brains; preparation and morphological and biochemical properties. J. Neurochem. 22:493–503.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  20. 20.
    Oja, S. S., Kontro, P., andLähdesmäki, P. 1977. Amino acids as inhibitory neurotransmitters. Prog. Pharmacol. 1(3):1–119.Google Scholar
  21. 21.
    Oja, S. S., andVahvelaimen, M.-L. 1975. Transport of amino acids in brain slices. Pages 67–137,in Marks, N., andRodnight, R. (eds.), Research Methods in Neurochemistry, Vol. 3, Plenum Press, New York.Google Scholar
  22. 22.
    Oldendorf, W. H. 1971. Uptake of radiolabeled essential amino acids by brain following arterial injection. Proc. Soc. Exp. Biol. 136:385–386.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  23. 23.
    Oxender, D. L., Cecchini, G., Lee, M., andMoore, P. 1977. Amino acid transport and binding activity from membrane preparations of animal cells. Pages 280–291,in Semenza, G., andCarafoli, E. (eds.), Biochemistry and Membrane Transport, Springer-Verlag, Berlin.Google Scholar
  24. 24.
    Peterson, N. A., andRaghupathy, E. 1972. Characteristics of amino acid accumulation by synaptosomal particles isolated from rat brain. J. Neurochem. 19:1423–1438.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  25. 25.
    Richelson, E. 1974. Studies on the transport ofl-tyrosine into an adrenergic clone of mouse neuroblastoma. J. Biol. Chem. 249:6218–6224.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  26. 26.
    Richelson, andThompson, E. J. 1973. Transport of neurotransmitter precursors into cultured cells. Nature, New Biol. 241:201–204.Google Scholar
  27. 27.
    Ronquist, G., Ågren, G., Ponten, J., andWestermark, B. 1976. α-Aminoisobutyric acid transport into human glia and glioma cells in culture. J. Cell. Physiol. 89:433–440.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  28. 28.
    Rose, S. P. R. 1968. Glucose and amino acid metabolism in isolated neuronal and glial cell fractions in vitro. J. Neurochem. 15:1415–1429.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  29. 29.
    Schon, F., andKelly, J. S. 1974. Autoradiographic localisation of [3H]GABA and [3H]glutamate over satellite glial cells. Brain Res. 66:275–288.Google Scholar
  30. 30.
    Schousboe, A., Hertz, L., andSvenneby, G. 1977. Uptake and metabolism of GABA in astrocytes cultured from dissociated mouse brain hemispheres. Neurochem. Res. 2:217–229.Google Scholar
  31. 31.
    Schousboe, A., Svenneby, G., andHertz, L. 1977. Uptake and metabolism of glutamate in astrocytes cultured from dissociated mouse brain hemispheres. J. Neurochem. 29:999–1005.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  32. 32.
    Sellström, Å., andHamberger, A. 1975. Neuronal and glial systems for γ-aminobutyric acid transport. J. Neurochem. 24:847–852.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  33. 33.
    Snedecor, G. W. 1959. Statistical Methods, 5th ed, Iowa State College Press, Ames, Iowa.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Plenum Publishing Corporation 1981

Authors and Affiliations

  • R. Hannuniemi
    • 1
  • S. S. Oja
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Biomedical SciencesUniversity of TampereTampere 10Finland

Personalised recommendations