Glutamate is the major excitatory neurotransmitter in the mammalian central nervous system (CNS). Packaging and storage of glutamate into glutamatergic neuronal vesicles require ATP-dependent vesicular glutamate uptake systems, which utilize the electrochemical proton gradient as a driving force. Three vesicular glutamate transporters (VGLUT1-3) have been recently identified from neuronal tissue where they play a key role to maintain the vesicular glutamate level. Recently, it has been demonstrated that glutamate signaling is also functional in peripheral neuronal and non-neuronal tissues, and occurs in sites of pituitary, adrenal, pineal glands, bone, GI tract, pancreas, skin, and testis. The glutamate receptors and VGLUTs in digestive system have been found in both neuronal and endocrinal cells. The glutamate signaling in the digestive system may have significant relevance to diabetes and GI tract motility disorders. This review will focus on the most recent update of molecular physiology of digestive VGLUTs.
- Digestive system
- Vesicular glutamate transporters
ASJC Scopus subject areas