Postsynaptic Glutamate Transport at the Climbing Fiber-Purkinje Cell Synapse

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Science  05 Sep 1997:
Vol. 277, Issue 5331, pp. 1515-1518
DOI: 10.1126/science.277.5331.1515

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The role of postsynaptic, neuronal glutamate transporters in terminating signals at central excitatory synapses is not known. Stimulation of a climbing fiber input to cerebellar Purkinje cells was shown to generate an anionic current mediated by glutamate transporters. The kinetics of transporter currents were resolved by pulses of glutamate to outside-out membrane patches from Purkinje cells. Comparison of synaptic transporter currents to transporter currents expressed in Xenopus oocytes suggests that postsynaptic uptake at the climbing fiber synapse removes at least 22 percent of released glutamate. These neuronal transporter currents arise from synchronous activation of transporters that greatly outnumber activated AMPA receptors.

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