Vitamin C Transporters, Recycling and the Bystander Effect in the Nervous System: SVCT2 versus Gluts

J Stem Cell Res Ther. 2014 May 19;4(5):209. doi: 10.4172/2157-7633.1000209.


Vitamin C is an essential micronutrient in the human diet; its deficiency leads to a number of symptoms and ultimately death. After entry into cells within the central nervous system (CNS) through sodium vitamin C transporters (SVCTs) and facilitative glucose transporters (GLUTs), vitamin C functions as a neuromodulator, enzymatic cofactor, and reactive oxygen species (ROS) scavenger; it also stimulates differentiation. In this review, we will compare the molecular and structural aspects of vitamin C and glucose transporters and their expression in endothelial or choroid plexus cells, which form part of the blood-brain barrier and blood-cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) barrier, respectively. Additionally, we will describe SVCT and GLUT expression in different cells of the brain as well as SVCT2 distribution in tanycytes and astrocytes of the hypothalamic region. Finally, we will describe vitamin C recycling in the brain, which is mediated by a metabolic interaction between astrocytes and neurons, and the role of the "bystander effect" in the recycling mechanism of vitamin C in both normal and pathological conditions.

Keywords: Ascorbic acid; Astrocytes; Dehydroascorbic acid; Nervous System; Neurons; Recycling; Stem cells; Tanycytesl; Vitamin C: SVCT2: GLUTs: Bystander effect.