Expression of synaptobrevin II, cellubrevin and syntaxin but not SNAP-25 in cultured astrocytes

FEBS Lett. 1995 Dec 27;377(3):489-92. doi: 10.1016/0014-5793(95)01401-2.


Astrocytes, a sub-type of glial cell in the central nervous system, can release the excitatory transmitters glutamate and aspartate in response to elevated levels of internal calcium. To investigate potential release mechanisms that may be present in these cells we have determined whether protein components of the neuronal secretory apparatus are expressed in astrocytes. Western blots, immunocytochemistry and RT PCR demonstrate that astrocytes express cellubrevin, synaptobrevin II and syntaxin, proteins known to form a macromolecular fusion complex. However, SNAP-25 which is another neuronal protein of the fusion complex, was not detected. Astrocyte cellubrevin and synaptobrevin II were also shown to be sensitive to the proteolytic activity of tetanus toxin. Together these data indicate that astrocytes express some proteins that are known to form a fusion complex indicating that regulated exocytosis might mediate calcium-regulated transmitter release from these cells.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Astrocytes / chemistry*
  • Cells, Cultured
  • Fluorescent Antibody Technique
  • Hippocampus / cytology
  • Membrane Proteins / genetics
  • Membrane Proteins / isolation & purification*
  • Nerve Tissue Proteins / genetics
  • Nerve Tissue Proteins / isolation & purification*
  • Polymerase Chain Reaction
  • Qa-SNARE Proteins
  • R-SNARE Proteins
  • RNA, Messenger / analysis
  • Rats
  • Rats, Sprague-Dawley
  • Subcellular Fractions / chemistry
  • Synaptosomal-Associated Protein 25
  • Vesicle-Associated Membrane Protein 3
  • Visual Cortex / cytology


  • Membrane Proteins
  • Nerve Tissue Proteins
  • Qa-SNARE Proteins
  • R-SNARE Proteins
  • RNA, Messenger
  • Snap25 protein, rat
  • Synaptosomal-Associated Protein 25
  • Vesicle-Associated Membrane Protein 3