Expression of a system L neutral amino acid transporter at the blood-brain barrier

Neuroreport. 2000 Nov 9;11(16):3507-11. doi: 10.1097/00001756-200011090-00021.


Amino acid transport system L has been proposed to be one of the major nutrient transport systems at the blood-brain barrier. Using immunohistochemical analyses, a system L transporter LAT1 was shown to be expressed in the brain capillary endothelial cells in rats. Because LAT1 was coexpressed with 4F2 heavy chain which brings LAT1 to the plasma membrane, LAT1 is proposed to be functional in the plasma membrane of brain capillary endothelial cells. Both LAT1 and 4F2hc immunoreactivities were detected in a double line appearance surrounding endothelial cell nuclei, suggesting both proteins are present in the luminal and abluminal membranes. LAT1 is, thus, a blood-brain barrier system L transporter responsible for the permeation of aromatic or branched-chain amino acids and amino acid-related drugs such as L-DOPA.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Amino Acid Transport Systems
  • Amino Acids / metabolism
  • Animals
  • Blood-Brain Barrier / physiology*
  • Capillaries / cytology
  • Capillaries / metabolism*
  • Carrier Proteins / analysis
  • Carrier Proteins / metabolism*
  • Cerebral Cortex / blood supply*
  • Cerebral Cortex / cytology
  • Endothelium, Vascular / cytology
  • Endothelium, Vascular / metabolism
  • Immunohistochemistry
  • Rats


  • Amino Acid Transport Systems
  • Amino Acids
  • Carrier Proteins