Distributions of Taurine, Glutamate, and Glutamate Receptors during Post-Natal Development and Plasticity in the Rat Brain
Taurine and glutamate both play roles in the development of the mammalian nervous system10, 17, 46. Taurine is involved in granule cell migration in the developing cerebellum37, 47, 48, 50 and is in high concentrations within axons of the optic tract before and during the establishment and refinement of synapses12, 34, 45. Glutamate, and one subtype of glutamate receptor, the N-methyl-D-aspartate (NMDA) receptor, have also been shown to be involved in the process of granule cell migration in the cerebellum10. NMDA receptors also appear to influence neurite outgrowth and survival of these granule cells2, 32, 35. In the hippocampus, glutamate promotes branching of neurites and synapse formation3, 26, 28. These studies indicate that there is an optimal range of glutamate concentration during development that promotes complexity, but higher concentrations are lethal to the developing neuron26. An inhibitory transmitter, γ-aminobutyric acid (GABA), is able to reduce the glutamate-in-duced regression of dendrites in culture25, suggesting that a modulatory influence is necessary during development to encourage optimal growth, while preventing excitotoxicity.
KeywordsPurkinje Cell Glutamate Receptor Granule Cell Dentate Gyrus Entorhinal Cortex
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