Molecular physiology of vesicular glutamate transporters in the digestive system

Tao Li, Fayez K. Ghishan, Liqun Bai

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

17 Scopus citations


Glutamate is the major excitatory neurotransmitter in the mammalian central nervous system (CNS). Packaging and storage of glutamate into glutamatergic neuronal vesicles require ATP-dependent vesicular glutamate uptake systems, which utilize the electrochemical proton gradient as a driving force. Three vesicular glutamate transporters (VGLUT1-3) have been recently identified from neuronal tissue where they play a key role to maintain the vesicular glutamate level. Recently, it has been demonstrated that glutamate signaling is also functional in peripheral neuronal and non-neuronal tissues, and occurs in sites of pituitary, adrenal, pineal glands, bone, GI tract, pancreas, skin, and testis. The glutamate receptors and VGLUTs in digestive system have been found in both neuronal and endocrinal cells. The glutamate signaling in the digestive system may have significant relevance to diabetes and GI tract motility disorders. This review will focus on the most recent update of molecular physiology of digestive VGLUTs.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1731-1736
Number of pages6
JournalWorld journal of gastroenterology
Issue number12
StatePublished - Mar 28 2005


  • Digestive system
  • Glutamate
  • Vesicular glutamate transporters

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Gastroenterology


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