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Astrocytes and neurons communicate via a monocarboxylic acid shuttle

Roosterman, D. and Cottrell, G. S. ORCID: (2020) Astrocytes and neurons communicate via a monocarboxylic acid shuttle. AIMS Neuroscience, 7 (2). pp. 94-106. ISSN 2373-7972

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To link to this item DOI: 10.3934/Neuroscience.2020007


Since formulation of the Astrocyte-Neuron Lactate Shuttle (ANLS) hypothesis in 1994, the hypothesis has provoked criticism and debate. Our review does not criticise, but rather integrates experimental data characterizing proton-linked monocarboxylate transporters (MCTs) into the ANLS. MCTs have wide substrate specificity and are discussed to be in protein complex with a proton donor (PD). We particularly focus on the proton-driven transfer of L-lactic acid (L-lacH) and pyruvic acid (pyrH), were PDs link MCTs to a flow of energy. The precise nature of the PD predicts the activity and catalytic direction of MCTs. By doing so, we postulate that the MCT4•phosphoglycerate kinase complex exports and at the same time in the same astrocyte, MCT1•carbonic anhydrase II complex imports monocarboxylic acids. Similarly, neuronal MCT2 preferentially imports pyrH. The repertoire of MCTs in astrocytes and neurons allows them to communicate via monocarboxylic acids. A change in imported pyrH/L-lacH ratio in favour of L-lacH encodes signals stabilizing the transit of glucose from astrocytes to neurons. The presented astrocyte neuron communication hypothesis has the potential to unite the community by suggesting that the exchange of monocarboxylic acids paves the path of glucose provision.

Item Type:Article
Divisions:Life Sciences > School of Chemistry, Food and Pharmacy > School of Pharmacy > Division of Pharmacology
ID Code:90722
Publisher:AIMS Press


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