Astrocytes are key players in brain function; they are intimately involved in neuronal signalling processes and their metabolism is tightly coupled to that of neurons. In the present review, we will be concerned with a discussion of aspects of astrocyte metabolism, including energy-generating pathways and amino acid homoeostasis. A discussion of the impact that uptake of neurotransmitter glutamate may have on these pathways is included along with a section on metabolic compartmentation.
Keywords: amino acid, astrocyte, compartmentation, energy, metabolism
Abbreviations: α-KG, α-ketoglutarate, AAT, aspartate aminotransferase, CFP, cyan fluorescence protein, DAB, diaminobenzidine, FRET, fluorescence resonance energy transfer, [glc]i, intracellular glucose concentration, GABA, γ-aminobutyric acid, GABA-T, GABA aminotransferase, GDH, glutamate dehydrogenase, GLUT, glucose transporter, GP, glycogen phosphorylase, GS, glutamine synthetase, GSK3, GS kinase 3, PAG, phosphate-activated glutaminase, PI3K, phosphoinositide 3-kinase, PKC, protein kinase C, TCA, tricarboxylic acid, YFP, yellow fluorescence protein