Astrocyte energy and neurotransmitter metabolism in Alzheimer's disease: Integration of the glutamate/GABA-glutamine cycle

Jens V. Andersen, Arne Schousboe, Alexei Verkhratsky

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

Abstract

Astrocytes contribute to the complex cellular pathology of Alzheimer's disease (AD). Neurons and astrocytes function in close collaboration through neurotransmitter recycling, collectively known as the glutamate/GABA-glutamine cycle, which is essential to sustain neurotransmission. Neurotransmitter recycling is intimately linked to astrocyte energy metabolism. In the course of AD, astrocytes undergo extensive metabolic remodeling, which may profoundly affect the glutamate/GABA-glutamine cycle. The consequences of altered astrocyte function and metabolism in relation to neurotransmitter recycling are yet to be comprehended. Metabolic alterations of astrocytes in AD deprive neurons of metabolic support, thereby contributing to synaptic dysfunction and neurodegeneration. In addition, several astrocyte-specific components of the glutamate/GABA-glutamine cycle, including glutamine synthesis and synaptic neurotransmitter uptake, are perturbed in AD. Integration of the complex astrocyte biology within the context of AD is essential for understanding the fundamental mechanisms of the disease, while restoring astrocyte metabolism may serve as an approach to arrest or even revert clinical progression of AD.

Original languageEnglish
Article number102331
JournalProgress in Neurobiology
Volume217
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2022

Keywords

  • Alternative substrates
  • Astrogliosis
  • Dementia
  • Excitotoxicity
  • Mitochondria
  • Neurodegeneration
  • Neurotransmitter recycling

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