Inositol and higher inositol phosphates in neural tissues: homeostasis, metabolism and functional significance

J Neurochem. 2002 Aug;82(4):736-54. doi: 10.1046/j.1471-4159.2002.01041.x.


Inositol phospholipids and inositol phosphates mediate well-established functions in signal transduction and in Ca2+ homeostasis in the CNS and non-neural tissues. More recently, there has been renewed interest in other roles that both myo-inositol and its highly phosphorylated forms may play in neural function. We review evidence that myo-inositol serves as a clinically relevant osmolyte in the CNS, and that its hexakisphosphate and pyrophosphorylated derivatives may play roles in such diverse cellular functions as DNA repair, nuclear RNA export and synaptic membrane trafficking.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Calcium / metabolism
  • Homeostasis / physiology*
  • Humans
  • Inositol / chemistry
  • Inositol / metabolism*
  • Inositol Phosphates / chemistry
  • Inositol Phosphates / metabolism*
  • Nerve Tissue / metabolism*
  • Nervous System Diseases / metabolism
  • Organ Specificity
  • Phosphorylation
  • Signal Transduction / physiology


  • Inositol Phosphates
  • Inositol
  • Calcium