Gliotransmission at central glutamatergic synapses: D-serine on stage

Magalie Martineau, Gérard Baux, Jean-Pierre Mothet
Journal of Physiology-Paris. 2006-03-01; 99(2-3): 103-110
DOI: 10.1016/j.jphysparis.2005.12.011

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1. J Physiol Paris. 2006 Mar-May;99(2-3):103-10. Epub 2006 Feb 7.

Gliotransmission at central glutamatergic synapses: D-serine on stage.

Martineau M(1), Baux G, Mothet JP.

Author information:
(1)Laboratoire de Neurobiologie Cellulaire et Moléculaire, CNRS UPR 9040,
Institut Fédératif de Neurobiologie Alfred Fessard, 1 Avenue de la Terrasse,
91198 Gif-sur-Yvette Cedex, France.

Long ignored and only considered as housekeeping cells for neurons, astroglial
cells in the last decade have gained increasing attention as key players of
higher functions in healthy brain, but also in diseases. This revolution in our
way to think the active brain culminates in the concept of a tripartite synapse,
which considers glial cells and notably astrocytes as an integral dynamic partner
of synapses. Glia not only listens but also talks to neurons through the release
of neuroactive substances. Recently much attention has been paid to the role
played by the atypical amino acid D-serine in this signalling pathway. This
molecule synthesized through racemization of L-serine fulfils most criteria as a
gliotransmitter and as the endogenous ligand for the strychnine-insensitive
glycine binding site of the NMDA receptors. D-serine is considered to be a
permissive factor for long-term changes in synaptic plasticity and neuronal
migration through activation of NMDA receptors. It is also known that disturbance
of NMDA receptors activity can cause cell death. Not surprisingly, then, D-serine
has also been found to promote neurons death in experimental models of
beta-amyloid peptide-induced neuroinflammation and of ischaemia by overactivating
the NMDA receptors. Finally, in a more recent past, studies have pointed to the
molecular mechanisms leading to D-serine release into and removal from the
synaptic cleft.

DOI: 10.1016/j.jphysparis.2005.12.011
PMID: 16455236 [Indexed for MEDLINE]

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