On how altered glutamate homeostasis may contribute to demyelinating diseases of the CNS

Adv Exp Med Biol. 1999;468:97-107.


Glial cells communicate reciprocally with neurons in multiple ways, both in synaptic and non-synaptic regions of the central nervous system. In the latter, neuron to glial and glial to glial signals can be mediated by neurotransmitters. Here, we review the presence and some of the functional properties of glutamate transporters and receptors in oligodendrocytes. In addition, we present data illustrating that alterations in glutamate homeostasis can be excitotoxic to oligodendroglia and that the tissue lesions caused by overactivation of glutamate receptors resemble those observed in demyelinating diseases such as multiple sclerosis. Overall, this information indicates that aberrant glutamate signaling may contribute to the development of some white matter pathologies.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Cell Communication
  • Central Nervous System / physiology
  • Central Nervous System / physiopathology*
  • Central Nervous System Diseases / physiopathology*
  • Demyelinating Diseases / physiopathology*
  • Glutamic Acid / metabolism*
  • Homeostasis
  • Humans
  • Synapses / physiology


  • Glutamic Acid