VGLUTs in Peripheral Neurons and the Spinal Cord: Time for a Review

ISRN Neurol. 2013 Nov 20:2013:829753. doi: 10.1155/2013/829753.


Vesicular glutamate transporters (VGLUTs) are key molecules for the incorporation of glutamate in synaptic vesicles across the nervous system, and since their discovery in the early 1990s, research on these transporters has been intense and productive. This review will focus on several aspects of VGLUTs research on neurons in the periphery and the spinal cord. Firstly, it will begin with a historical account on the evolution of the morphological analysis of glutamatergic systems and the pivotal role played by the discovery of VGLUTs. Secondly, and in order to provide an appropriate framework, there will be a synthetic description of the neuroanatomy and neurochemistry of peripheral neurons and the spinal cord. This will be followed by a succinct description of the current knowledge on the expression of VGLUTs in peripheral sensory and autonomic neurons and neurons in the spinal cord. Finally, this review will address the modulation of VGLUTs expression after nerve and tissue insult, their physiological relevance in relation to sensation, pain, and neuroprotection, and their potential pharmacological usefulness.

Publication types

  • Review