L-methionine-DL-sulfoximine induces massive efflux of glutamine from cortical astrocytes in primary culture

Eur J Pharmacol. 1990 Jul 17;182(3):587-9. doi: 10.1016/0014-2999(90)90061-a.


L-Methionine-DL-sulfoximine (MSO) is a potent convulsant which metabolically and morphologically primarily affects astroglia, and the links between the gliotoxic and neurophysiological effects of MSO are not clear. A 5 min treatment with 3 mM MSO increased the rate of efflux of newly loaded radiolabelled glutamine (Gln) from rat cortical astrocytes in primary culture to more than 400% of the basal efflux. MSO did not affect the efflux of the neurotransmitter amino acids GABA or D-aspartate (a non-metabolizable analogue of L-glutamate), under the same experimental conditions. MSO-induced overflow with Gln, which according to a recent account strongly interacts with the N-methyl-D-aspartate (NMDA) receptor complex, may contribute to the convulsive action of the drug.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Animals, Newborn
  • Aspartic Acid / metabolism
  • Astrocytes / drug effects
  • Astrocytes / metabolism*
  • Bucladesine / pharmacology
  • Cells, Cultured
  • Cerebral Cortex / cytology*
  • Cerebral Cortex / drug effects
  • Cerebral Cortex / metabolism
  • Glutamine / metabolism*
  • Methionine Sulfoximine / pharmacology*
  • Rats
  • gamma-Aminobutyric Acid / metabolism


  • Glutamine
  • Methionine Sulfoximine
  • Aspartic Acid
  • gamma-Aminobutyric Acid
  • Bucladesine