Endogenous D-serine in rat brain: N-methyl-D-aspartate receptor-related distribution and aging

J Neurochem. 1993 Feb;60(2):783-6. doi: 10.1111/j.1471-4159.1993.tb03219.x.


Recently, a substantial amount of free D-serine has been demonstrated in rat brain, although it has long been presumed that D-amino acids are uncommon in mammals. The anatomical distribution and age-related changes in endogenous D-serine have been examined here to obtain insight into its physiological functions. Free D-serine exclusively occurs in brains, with a persistent high content from birth to at least 86 postnatal weeks. The patterns of the regional variations and the postnatal changes in brain D-serine are closely correlated with those of the N-methyl-D-aspartate (NMDA)-type excitatory amino acid receptor. Because D-serine potentiates NMDA receptor-mediated transmission by selective stimulation of the strychnine-insensitive glycine site of the NMDA receptor, it is proposed that D-serine is a novel candidate as an intrinsic ligand for the glycine site in mammalian brain.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Aging / metabolism*
  • Animals
  • Brain / growth & development
  • Brain / metabolism*
  • Glycine / metabolism
  • Kidney / growth & development
  • Kidney / metabolism
  • Liver / growth & development
  • Liver / metabolism
  • Male
  • Organ Specificity
  • Rats
  • Rats, Wistar
  • Receptors, N-Methyl-D-Aspartate / metabolism*
  • Serine / analysis
  • Serine / metabolism*
  • Stereoisomerism


  • Receptors, N-Methyl-D-Aspartate
  • Serine
  • Glycine