Genetic inactivation of the vesicular glutamate transporter 2 (VGLUT2) in the mouse: what have we learnt about functional glutamatergic neurotransmission?
2010 (English)In: Upsala Journal of Medical Sciences, ISSN 0300-9734, E-ISSN 2000-1967, Vol. 115, no 1, 11-20 p.Article, review/survey (Refereed) Published
During the past decade, three proteins that possess the capability of packaging glutamate into presynaptic vesicles have been identified and characterized. These three vesicular glutamate transporters, VGLUT1-3, are encoded by solute carrier genes Slc17a6-8. VGLUT1 (Slc17a7) and VGLUT2 (Slc17a6) are expressed in glutamatergic neurons, while VGLUT3 (Slc17a8) is expressed in neurons classically defined by their use of another transmitter, such as acetylcholine and serotonin. As glutamate is both a ubiquitous amino acid and the most abundant neurotransmitter in the adult central nervous system, the discovery of the VGLUTs made it possible for the first time to identify and specifically target glutamatergic neurons. By molecular cloning techniques, different VGLUT isoforms have been genetically targeted in mice, creating models with alterations in their glutamatergic signalling. Glutamate signalling is essential for life, and its excitatory function is involved in almost every neuronal circuit. The importance of glutamatergic signalling was very obvious when studying full knockout models of both VGLUT1 and VGLUT2, none of which were compatible with normal life. While VGLUT1 full knockout mice die after weaning, VGLUT2 full knockout mice die immediately after birth. Many neurological diseases have been associated with altered glutamatergic signalling in different brain regions, which is why conditional knockout mice with abolished VGLUT-mediated signalling only in specific circuits may prove helpful in understanding molecular mechanisms behind such pathologies. We review the recent studies in which mouse genetics have been used to characterize the functional role of VGLUT2 in the central nervous system.
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2010. Vol. 115, no 1, 11-20 p.
Medical and Health Sciences
IdentifiersURN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-138386DOI: 10.3109/03009730903572073ISI: 000275061700003OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-138386DiVA: diva2:379557