Similar perisynaptic glial localization for the Na+,K+-ATPase α2 subunit and the glutamate transporters GLAST and GLT-1 in the rat somatosensory cortex

N. Cholet, L. Pellerin, P. J. Magistretti, Edith Hamel*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

140 Scopus citations

Abstract

Several isoenzymes of the Na+,K+-ATPase are expressed in brain but their specific roles are poorly understood. Recently, it was suggested that an isoenzyme of the Na+,K+-ATPase containing the α2 subunit, together with the glutamate transporters GLAST and GLT-1, participate in a coupling mechanism between neuronal activity and energy metabolism taking place in astrocytes. To substantiate this hypothesis, we compared the distribution of α2, GLAST and/or GLT-1 in the rat cerebral cortex using double immunofluorescence and confocal microscopy, and immunocytochemistry at the electron microscopic level. We also investigated the relationship between α2, GLAST or GLT-1 and asymmetrical synaptic junctions (largely glutamatergic) and GABAergic nerve terminals. Results show that the 2 subunit has an exclusive astroglial localization, and that it is almost completely co-distributed with GLAST and GLT-1 when evaluated by confocal microscopy. This similar distribution was confirmed at the ultrastructural level, which further showed that the vast majority of the X2 staining 73% of all labelled elements), like that of GLAST and GLT-1, was located in glial leaflets surrounding dendritic spines and the dendritic and/or axonal elements of asymmetrical (glutamatergic) axo-dendritic synapses. Synapses ensheathed by α2, GLAST or GLT-1 virtually never included {≤2%) GABAergic nerve terminals or synaptic junctions. However, a subset of GABAergic nerve terminals (10-14%) were directly apposed to asymmetrical axo-dendritic junctions surrounded by α2, GLAST or GLT-1 Altogether these results demonstrate that α2, GLAST and GLT-1 have comparable perisynaptic distribution within cortical astrocytes most likely associated with glutamatergic synapses.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)515-525
Number of pages11
JournalCerebral Cortex
Volume12
Issue number5
StatePublished - 2002
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuroscience(all)

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