Extracellular glutamate: Functional compartments operate in different concentration ranges

Khaled Moussawi, Arthur Riegel, Satish Nair, Peter W. Kalivas

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

137 Scopus citations


Extra cellular glutamate of glial origin modulates glial and neuronal glutamate release and synaptic plasticity. Estimates of the tonic basal concentration of extra cellular glutamate range over three orders of magnitude (0.02-20 μM) depending on the technology employed to make the measurement. Based upon binding constants for glutamate receptors and transporters, this range of concentrations translates into distinct physiological and patho-physiological roles for extra cellular glutamate. Here we speculate that the difference in glutamate measurements can be explained if there is patterned membrane surface expression of glutamate release and transporter sites creating extra cellular sub compartments that vary in glutamate concentration and are preferentially sampled by different technologies.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number94
JournalFrontiers in Systems Neuroscience
Issue numberNOVEMBER 2011
StatePublished - Nov 24 2011
Externally publishedYes


  • Cystine-glutamate exchange
  • Glia
  • Glutamate
  • Glutamate uptake
  • Synapse
  • mGluR

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuroscience (miscellaneous)
  • Developmental Neuroscience
  • Cognitive Neuroscience
  • Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience


Dive into the research topics of 'Extracellular glutamate: Functional compartments operate in different concentration ranges'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this