Glutamate transporters in the spinal cord of the wobbler mouse

P. Bigini, A. Bastone, T. Mennini

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


We studied the role of glutamate excitotoxicity in motor neuron degeneration in the wobbler mouse (wr/wr), a model of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis and spinal muscular atrophies. Choline acetyltransferase (ChAT) activity was decreased in the cervical spinal cord and in the muscles innervated by nerves originating in this region of wobbler mice, but no differences were found in the lumbar spinal cord and in the hindleg muscles. Glial fibrillar acid protein (GFAP), a marker of reactive gliosis, was significantly higher in the cervical spinal cord of wobbler mice aged 4 weeks than in controls and the differences were more marked at 12 weeks; no differences were found in the lumbar spinal cord. In spite of this selective degeneration of motor neurons (resulting in strong decrease in the neuronal glutamate transporter EAACI) and reactive gliosis in the cervical spinal cord, the levels of the glial glutamate transporter proteins GLT-I and GLAST were similar in wobbler and control mice. Plasma concentrations of excitatory amino acids were no different at any time examined. Our results exclude the involvement of decrease in glutamate GLT I transporter in the motor neuron degeneration in wobbler mice.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1815-1820
Number of pages6
Issue number9
Publication statusPublished - Jul 3 2001


  • ChAT
  • Excitatory amino acids
  • GFAP
  • GLT-I
  • Motor neuron
  • Plasma
  • Wobbler mouse

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuroscience(all)


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