Glutamate Carrier Involvement in Mitochondrial Dysfunctioning in the Brain White Matter

Anne E.J. Hillen, Vivi M. Heine*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to JournalArticleAcademicpeer-review


Glutamate homeostasis is an important determinant of health of the central nervous system (CNS). Mitochondria play crucial roles in glutamate metabolism, especially in processes with a high energy demand such as action potential generation. Mitochondrial glutamate carriers (GCs) and aspartate-GCs (AGCs) regulate the transport of glutamate from the cytoplasm across the mitochondrial membrane, which is needed to control energy demand, lipid metabolism, and metabolic activity including oxidative phosphorylation and glycolysis. Dysfunction in these carriers are associated with seizures, spasticity, and/or myelin deficits, all of which are associated with inherited metabolic disorders. Since solute carrier functioning and associated processes are cell type- and context-specific, selective vulnerability to glutamate excitotoxicity and mitochondrial dysfunctioning is expected. Understanding this could offer important insights into the pathomechanisms of associated disorders. This perspective aims to explore the link between functions of both AGCs and GCs and their role in metabolic disorders, with a focus on a subclass of lysosomal storage disorders called leukodystrophies (LDs).

Original languageEnglish
Article number151
JournalFrontiers in Molecular Biosciences
Publication statusPublished - 21 Jul 2020


  • aspartate-glutamate carriers
  • cell metabolism
  • cell type specificity
  • excitotoxicity
  • glutamate carriers
  • leukodystrophy
  • mitochondria
  • white matter


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