Bicarbonate-sensitive cysteine induced elevation of extracellular aspartate and glutamate in rat hippocampus in vitro
Journal article, 1997

The effect of different concentrations of cysteine (0.125, 0.25, 0.5 and 1 mM) on the net efflux of endogenous amino acids was studied by the incubation of rat hippocampal slices. Addition of cysteine (1 mM) in bicarbonate containing low K+ medium (5 min) selectively increased the basal net efflux of glutamate and aspartate by 370% and 396%, respectively. High K+ media (50 mM) containing cysteine (1 mM) evoked the net efflux of glutamate and aspartate by 1 454% and 1 019%, respectively. The corresponding effects in control slices without cysteine were 669% and 404%, respectively. No changes were observed on the concentrations of GABA, glutamine and taurine. The cysteine oxidation products, cysteine sulfinate (0.5 μM) and cystine (0.25 mM) were without effects. The effect of cysteine (0.5 mM) was dramatically reduced in media with no added bicarbonate/CO2. Thus, cysteine in a bicarbonate-sensitive manner selectively increases the extracellular concentration of excitotoxic amino acids in adult rat brain in vitro, possibly by interfering with the carrier-mediated glutamate uptake/ release


carbon dioxide




cysteine sulfinate


Abdul-Karim Abbas

University of Gothenburg

Kent Eric Jardemark

University of Gothenburg

Anders Lehmann

University of Gothenburg

Stephen Weber

Mats Sandberg

University of Gothenburg

Neurochemistry International

0197-0186 (ISSN)

Vol. 30 3 253-259

Subject Categories

Basic Medicine


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