Inproceedings: An article in a conference proceedings.
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Molecular determinants of vesicular storage and release of the gliotransmitter D-serine from cortical astrocytes
Title of the conference
11th International Congress on Amino Acids, Peptides and Proteins
Vienna, Austria, August 3-7, 2009
Neuron-astrocyte reciprocal communication at synapses has emerged as a novel signalling pathway in brain function. Astrocytes sense the level of synaptic activity and, in turn, influence its efficacy through the regulated release of 'gliotransmitters' such as glutamate, ATP or D-serine. A calcium-dependent exocytosis is proposed to drive the release of gliotransmitters but its existence is still debated. Over the last years, we have been studying the molecular determinants governing D-serine release from glia using different approaches. Using a novel bioassay for D-serine, we have been able to show that D-serine release occurs mainly through a calcium- and SNARE proteindependent mechanism just supporting the idea that this amino acid is released by exocytosis from glia. We next have pursued our exploration by confocal imaging and tracking of the exocytotic routes for Dserine- mediated gliotransmission and have shown that D-serine releasable pools are confined to synaptobrevin2/cellubrevin-bearing vesicles. To shed light onto the mechanisms controlling the storage and the release of gliotransmitters and namely D-serine, we have developed a new method for the immunoisolation of synaptobrevin 2- positive vesicles from rat cortical astrocytes in culture while preserving their content in gliotransmitters. The purified organelles are clear round shape vesicles of excellent purity with homogeneous size (40 nm) as judged by electron microscopy. Immunoblotting analysis revealed that isolated vesicles contain most of the major proteins already described for neuron-derived vesicles like synaptic vesicle protein 2 (SV2) and the proton pump H?-ATPase. In addition, we have analyzed the content for various amino acids of these vesicles by means of chiral capillary electrophoresis coupled to laser-induced fluorescence detection. The purified vesicles contain large amount of D-serine. We also detect peaks corresponding to unidentified compounds that may correspond to others amino acids. Postembedding immunogold labelling of the rat neocortex further revealed the expression of D-serine in astrocytes processes contacting excitatory synapses. Finally, we have examined the uptake properties for Dserine and glutamate inside the isolated glial vesicles. Our results provide significant support for the existence of an uptake system for D-serine in secretory glial vesicles and for the storage of chemical substances like D-serine and glutamate. 11th International Congress on Amino Acids, Peptides and Proteins 763 123
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