The glutamate transporter, GLT-1, is expressed in cultured hippocampal neurons

Neurochem Int. 1998 Aug;33(2):95-100. doi: 10.1016/s0197-0186(98)00018-7.


There are multiple subtypes of Na+-dependent glutamate transporters. Several studies suggest that EAAC1 and EAAT4 are expressed in neurons, while GLT-1 and GLAST expression is thought to be restricted to glia. In the present study, expression of GLT-1 and EAAC1 was examined in cultured rat hippocampal neurons using single cell mRNA amplification and immunocytochemistry with subtype specific antibodies. GLT-1 and EAAC1 mRNAs were observed in all neurons examined. Neuronal phenotype was confirmed in these cells by expression of neurofilament (NF-L) mRNA and absence of glial fibrillary acidic protein (GFAP) mRNA. EAAC1 immunoreactivity was observed in essentially all cells which expressed neuron specific enolase (NSE) and GLT-1 immunoreactivity was detected in the majority (approximately 90%) of NSE-positive cells. Consistent with the glial expression of GLT-1, GLT-1 immunoreactivity was also observed in NSE-negative cells. These studies provide evidence that GLT-1 expression is not intrinsically restricted to glial cells, but can occur in neurons under certain circumstances.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • ATP-Binding Cassette Transporters / genetics*
  • Amino Acid Transport System X-AG
  • Animals
  • Cells, Cultured
  • Embryo, Mammalian
  • Gene Expression*
  • Glial Fibrillary Acidic Protein / genetics
  • Hippocampus / metabolism*
  • Immunohistochemistry
  • Neurons / metabolism*
  • RNA, Messenger / analysis
  • Rats


  • ATP-Binding Cassette Transporters
  • Amino Acid Transport System X-AG
  • Glial Fibrillary Acidic Protein
  • RNA, Messenger