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VGlut2 neurotransmitter transporter antibody


Antibody ID


Target Antigen

VGlut2 neurotransmitter transporter null

Proper Citation

(UC Davis/NIH NeuroMab Facility Cat# 75-067, RRID:AB_2239153)


monoclonal antibody


Originating manufacturer of this product. Applications: IB, ICC, IHC, WB. Validation status: IF or IB (Pass), IB in brain (Pass), IHC in brain (Pass), KO (ND).

Clone ID


Host Organism


Rescue of Learning and Memory Deficits in the Human Nonsyndromic Intellectual Disability Cereblon Knock-Out Mouse Model by Targeting the AMP-Activated Protein Kinase-mTORC1 Translational Pathway.

  • Bavley CC
  • J. Neurosci.
  • 2018 Mar 14

Literature context:


A homozygous nonsense mutation in the cereblon (CRBN) gene results in autosomal recessive, nonsyndromic intellectual disability that is devoid of other phenotypic features, suggesting a critical role of CRBN in mediating learning and memory. In this study, we demonstrate that adult male Crbn knock-out (CrbnKO) mice exhibit deficits in hippocampal-dependent learning and memory tasks that are recapitulated by focal knock-out of Crbn in the adult dorsal hippocampus, with no changes in social or repetitive behavior. Cellular studies identify deficits in long-term potentiation at Schaffer collateral CA1 synapses. We further show that Crbn is robustly expressed in the mouse hippocampus and CrbnKO mice exhibit hyperphosphorylated levels of AMPKα (Thr172). Examination of processes downstream of AMP-activated protein kinase (AMPK) finds that CrbnKO mice have a selective impairment in mediators of the mTORC1 translation initiation pathway in parallel with lower protein levels of postsynaptic density glutamatergic proteins and higher levels of excitatory presynaptic markers in the hippocampus with no change in markers of the unfolded protein response or autophagy pathways. Acute pharmacological inhibition of AMPK activity in adult CrbnKO mice rescues learning and memory deficits and normalizes hippocampal mTORC1 activity and postsynaptic glutamatergic proteins without altering excitatory presynaptic markers. Thus, this study identifies that loss of Crbn results in learning, memory, and synaptic defects as a consequence of exaggerated AMPK activity, inhibition of mTORC1 signaling, and decreased glutamatergic synaptic proteins. Thus, CrbnKO mice serve as an ideal model of intellectual disability to further explore molecular mechanisms of learning and memory.SIGNIFICANCE STATEMENT Intellectual disability (ID) is one of the most common neurodevelopmental disorders. The cereblon (CRBN) gene has been linked to autosomal recessive, nonsyndromic ID, characterized by an intelligence quotient between 50 and 70 but devoid of other phenotypic features, making cereblon an ideal protein for the study of the fundamental aspects of learning and memory. Here, using the cereblon knock-out mouse model, we show that cereblon deficiency disrupts learning, memory, and synaptic function via AMP-activated protein kinase hyperactivity, downregulation of mTORC1, and dysregulation of excitatory synapses, with no changes in social or repetitive behaviors, consistent with findings in the human population. This establishes the cereblon knock-out mouse as a model of pure ID without the confounding behavioral phenotypes associated with other current models of ID.

Funding information:
  • Medical Research Council - MC_U137761446(United Kingdom)
  • NIDA NIH HHS - R01 DA029122()

Glial EAAT2 regulation of extracellular nTS glutamate critically controls neuronal activity and cardiorespiratory reflexes.

  • Matott MP
  • J. Physiol. (Lond.)
  • 2017 Sep 1

Literature context:


KEY POINTS: Excitatory amino acid transporter 2 (EAAT2) is present on astrocytes in the nucleus tractus solitarii (nTS), an important nucleus in cardiorespiratory control. Its specific role in influencing nTS neuronal activity and thereby basal and reflex cardiorespiratory function is unknown. The specific role of nTS EAAT2 was determined via whole animal and brainstem slice patch clamp experiments. Astrocytic EAAT2 buffers basal glutamate activation of AMPA-type glutamate receptors and therefore decreases baseline excitability of nTS neurons. EAAT2 modulates cardiorespiratory control and tempers excitatory cardiorespiratory responses to activation of the peripheral chemoreflex. This study supports the concept that nTS astrocyte transporters influence sympathetic nervous system activity and cardiorespiratory reflex function in health and disease. ABSTRACT: Glutamatergic signalling is critical in the nucleus tractus solitarii (nTS) for cardiorespiratory homeostasis and initiation of sensory reflexes, including the chemoreflex activated during hypoxia. Maintenance of nTS glutamate concentration occurs in part through astrocytic excitatory amino acid transporters (EAATs). We previously established the importance of EAATs in the nTS by demonstrating their inhibition produced neuronal excitation to alter basal cardiorespiratory function. Since EAAT2 is the most expressed EAAT in the nTS, this study specifically determined EAAT2's role in nTS astrocytes, its influence on neuronal and synaptic properties, and ultimately on basal and reflex cardiorespiratory function. The EAAT2-specific antagonist dihydrokainate (DHK) was microinjected into the anaesthetized rat nTS or applied to rat nTS slices. DHK produced depressor, bradycardic and sympathoinhibitory responses and reduced neural respiration in the intact rat, mimicking responses to glutamate excitation. DHK also enhanced responses to glutamate microinjection. DHK elevated extracellular nTS glutamate concentration, depolarized neurons and enhanced spontaneous EPSCs. EAAT2 block also augmented action potential discharge in chemosensitive nTS neurons. Glial recordings confirmed EAAT2 is functional on nTS astrocytes. Neuronal excitation and cardiorespiratory effects following EAAT2 inhibition were due to activation of putative extrasynaptic AMPA receptors as their antagonism blocked DHK responses in the intact rat nTS and the slice. The DHK-induced elevation of extracellular glutamate and neuronal excitation augmented chemoreflex-mediated pressor, sympathoexcitatory and minute neural ventilation responses in the rat. These data shed new light on the important role astrocytic EAAT2 plays on buffering nTS excitation and overall cardiorespiratory function.

The isthmic nuclei providing parallel feedback connections to the avian tectum have different neurochemical identities: Expression of glutamatergic and cholinergic markers in the chick (Gallus gallus).

  • González-Cabrera C
  • J. Comp. Neurol.
  • 2015 Jun 15

Literature context:


Retinal inputs to the optic tectum (TeO) triggered by moving stimuli elicit synchronized feedback signals from two isthmic nuclei: the isthmi parvocelullaris (Ipc) and isthmi semilunaris (SLu). Both of these nuclei send columnar axon terminals back to the same tectal position receiving the retinal input. The feedback signals from the Ipc seem to act as an attentional spotlight by selectively boosting the propagation of retinal inputs from the tectum to higher visual areas. Although Ipc and SLu nuclei are widely considered cholinergic because of their immunoreactivity for choline acetyltransferase (ChAT), contradictory findings, including the expression of the vesicular glutamate transporter 2 (VGluT2) mRNA in Ipc neurons, have raised doubts about the purely cholinergic nature of this nucleus. In this study, in chicks, we revise the neurochemical identity of the isthmic nuclei by using in situ hybridization assays for VGluT2 along with three cholinergic markers: the vesicular acetylcholine transporter (VAChT), the high-affinity choline transporter (CHT1) and ChAT. We found that neurons in the SLu showed strong mRNA expression of all three cholinergic markers, whereas the expression of VAChT mRNA in the Ipc was undetectable in our essays. Instead, Ipc neurons exhibited a strong expression of VGluT2 mRNA. Immunohistochemistry assays showed VGluT2 immunoreactivity in the TeO codistributing with anterogradely labeled Ipc axon-terminal boutons, further supporting a glutamatergic function for the Ipc nucleus. Therefore, our results strongly suggest that, in the chick, whereas the feedback from the SLu to the TeO is indeed cholinergic, the feedback from the Ipc has a marked glutamatergic component.

Funding information:
  • NIDCD NIH HHS - R01 DC012957(United States)

Dysfunctional astrocytic and synaptic regulation of hypothalamic glutamatergic transmission in a mouse model of early-life adversity: relevance to neurosteroids and programming of the stress response.

  • Gunn BG
  • J. Neurosci.
  • 2013 Dec 11

Literature context:


Adverse early-life experiences, such as poor maternal care, program an abnormal stress response that may involve an altered balance between excitatory and inhibitory signals. Here, we explored how early-life stress (ELS) affects excitatory and inhibitory transmission in corticotrophin-releasing factor (CRF)-expressing dorsal-medial (mpd) neurons of the neonatal mouse hypothalamus. We report that ELS associates with enhanced excitatory glutamatergic transmission that is manifested as an increased frequency of synaptic events and increased extrasynaptic conductance, with the latter associated with dysfunctional astrocytic regulation of glutamate levels. The neurosteroid 5α-pregnan-3α-ol-20-one (5α3α-THPROG) is an endogenous, positive modulator of GABAA receptors (GABAARs) that is abundant during brain development and rises rapidly during acute stress, thereby enhancing inhibition to curtail stress-induced activation of the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenocortical axis. In control mpd neurons, 5α3α-THPROG potently suppressed neuronal discharge, but this action was greatly compromised by prior ELS exposure. This neurosteroid insensitivity did not primarily result from perturbations of GABAergic inhibition, but rather arose functionally from the increased excitatory drive onto mpd neurons. Previous reports indicated that mice (dams) lacking the GABAAR δ subunit (δ(0/0)) exhibit altered maternal behavior. Intriguingly, δ(0/0) offspring showed some hallmarks of abnormal maternal care that were further exacerbated by ELS. Moreover, in common with ELS, mpd neurons of δ(0/0) pups exhibited increased synaptic and extrasynaptic glutamatergic transmission and consequently a blunted neurosteroid suppression of neuronal firing. This study reveals that increased synaptic and tonic glutamatergic transmission may be a common maladaptation to ELS, leading to enhanced excitation of CRF-releasing neurons, and identifies neurosteroids as putative early regulators of the stress neurocircuitry.

Funding information:
  • European Research Council - 280032(International)

Central CRF neurons are not created equal: phenotypic differences in CRF-containing neurons of the rat paraventricular hypothalamus and the bed nucleus of the stria terminalis.

  • Dabrowska J
  • Front Neurosci
  • 2013 Sep 6

Literature context:


Corticotrophin-releasing factor (CRF) plays a key role in initiating many of the endocrine, autonomic, and behavioral responses to stress. CRF-containing neurons of the paraventricular nucleus of the hypothalamus (PVN) are classically involved in regulating endocrine function through activation of the stress axis. However, CRF is also thought to play a critical role in mediating anxiety-like responses to environmental stressors, and dysfunction of the CRF system in extra-hypothalamic brain regions, like the bed nucleus of stria terminalis (BNST), has been linked to the etiology of many psychiatric disorders including anxiety and depression. Thus, although CRF neurons of the PVN and BNST share a common neuropeptide phenotype, they may represent two functionally diverse neuronal populations. Here, we employed dual-immunofluorescence, single-cell RT-PCR, and electrophysiological techniques to further examine this question and report that CRF neurons of the PVN and BNST are fundamentally different such that PVN CRF neurons are glutamatergic, whereas BNST CRF neurons are GABAergic. Moreover, these two neuronal populations can be further distinguished based on their electrophysiological properties, their co-expression of peptide neurotransmitters such as oxytocin and arginine-vasopressin, and their cognate receptors. Our results suggest that CRF neurons in the PVN and the BNST would not only differ in their response to local neurotransmitter release, but also in their action on downstream target structures.

Funding information:
  • Wellcome Trust - 077192/Z/05/Z(United Kingdom)

Hijacking the neuronal NMDAR signaling circuit to promote tumor growth and invasion.

  • Li L
  • Cell
  • 2013 Mar 28

Literature context:


Glutamate and its receptor N-methyl-D-aspartate receptor (NMDAR) have been associated with cancer, although their functions are not fully understood. Herein, we implicate glutamate-driven NMDAR signaling in a mouse model of pancreatic neuroendocrine tumorigenesis (PNET) and in selected human cancers. NMDAR was upregulated at the periphery of PNET tumors, particularly invasive fronts. Moreover, elevated coexpression of NMDAR and glutamate exporters correlated with poor prognosis in cancer patients. Treatment of a tumor-derived cell line with NMDAR antagonists impaired cancer cell proliferation and invasion. Flow conditions mimicking interstitial fluid pressure induced autologous glutamate secretion, activating NMDAR and its downstream MEK-MAPK and CaMK effectors, thereby promoting invasiveness. Congruently, pharmacological inhibition of NMDAR in mice with PNET reduced tumor growth and invasiveness. Therefore, beyond its traditional role in neurons, NMDAR may be activated in human tumors by fluid flow consequent to higher interstitial pressure, inducing an autocrine glutamate signaling circuit with resultant stimulation of malignancy.

Funding information:
  • NICHD NIH HHS - R01 HD046236-06(United States)

Inhibition of presynaptic Na(+)/K(+)-ATPase reduces readily releasable pool size at the avian end-bulb of Held synapse.

  • Taruno A
  • Neurosci. Res.
  • 2012 Feb 9

Literature context:


A glutamatergic end-bulb synapse in the avian nucleus magnocellularis relays temporal sound information from the auditory nerve. Here, we show that presynaptic Na(+)/K(+)-ATPase (NKA) activity at this synapse contributes to the maintenance of the readily releasable pool (RRP) of vesicles, thereby preserving synaptic strength. Whole-cell voltage clamp recordings were made from chick brainstem slices to examine the effects of NKA blocker dihydroouabain (DHO) on synaptic transmission. DHO suppressed the amplitude of EPSCs in a dose-dependent manner. This suppression was caused by a decrease in the number of neurotransmitter quanta released because DHO increased the coefficient of variation of EPSC amplitude and reduced the frequency but not the amplitude of miniature EPSCs. Cumulative plots of EPSC amplitude during a stimulus train revealed that DHO reduced the RRP size without affecting vesicular release probability. DHO did not affect [Ca(2+)](i)-dependent processes, such as the paired-pulse ratio or recovery time course from the paired-pulse depression, suggesting a minimal effect on Ca(2+) concentration in the presynaptic terminal. Using mathematical models of synaptic depression, we further demonstrated the contribution of RRP size to the synaptic strength during a high-frequency stimulus train to highlight the importance of presynaptic NKA in the auditory synapse.

Funding information:
  • NCI NIH HHS - R01CA123368(United States)
  • NIDDK NIH HHS - R01 DK046367(United States)

Developmental maturation of excitation and inhibition balance in principal neurons across four layers of somatosensory cortex.

  • Zhang Z
  • Neuroscience
  • 2011 Feb 3

Literature context:


In adult cortices, the ratio of excitatory and inhibitory conductances (E/I ratio) is presumably balanced across a wide range of stimulus conditions. However, it is unknown how the E/I ratio is postnatally regulated, when the strength of synapses are rapidly changing. Yet, understanding of such a process is critically important, because there are numerous neuropsychological disorders, such as autism, epilepsy and schizophrenia, associated with disturbed E/I balances. Here we directly measured the E/I ratio underlying locally induced synaptic conductances in principal neurons from postnatal day 8 (P8) through 60. We found that (1) within each developmental period, the E/I ratio across four major cortical layers was maintained at a similar value under wide range of stimulation intensities; and (2) there was a rapid developmental decrease in the E/I ratio, which occurred within a sensitive period between P8 to P18 with exception of layer II/III. By comparing the excitatory and inhibitory conductances, as well as key synaptic protein expressions, we found a net increase in the number and strength of inhibitory, but not excitatory synapses, is responsible for the developmental decrease in the E/I ratio in the barrel cortex. The inhibitory markers were intrinsically co-regulated, gave rise to a sharp increase in the inhibitory conductance from P8 to P18. These results suggest that the tightly regulated E/I ratios in adults cortex is a result of drastic changes in relative weight of inhibitory but not excitatory synapses during critical period, and the local inhibitory structural changes are the underpinning of altered E/I ratio across postnatal development.

Funding information:
  • NIGMS NIH HHS - R42GM087013(United States)

NMDA receptors activated by subventricular zone astrocytic glutamate are critical for neuroblast survival prior to entering a synaptic network.

  • Platel JC
  • Neuron
  • 2010 Mar 25

Literature context:


Even before integrating into existing circuitry, adult-born neurons express receptors for neurotransmitters, but the intercellular mechanisms and their impact on neurogenesis remain largely unexplored. Here, we show that neuroblasts born in the postnatal subventricular zone (SVZ) acquire NMDA receptors (NMDARs) during their migration to the olfactory bulb. Along their route, neuroblasts are ensheathed by astrocyte-like cells expressing vesicular glutamate release machinery. Increasing calcium in these specialized astrocytes induced NMDAR activity in neuroblasts, and blocking astrocytic vesicular release eliminated spontaneous NMDAR activity. Single-cell knockout of NMDARs using neonatal electroporation resulted in neuroblast apoptosis at the time of NMDAR acquisition. This cumulated in a 40% loss of neuroblasts along their migratory route, demonstrating that NMDAR acquisition is critical for neuroblast survival prior to entering a synaptic network. In addition, our findings suggest an unexpected mechanism wherein SVZ astrocytes use glutamate signaling through NMDARs to control the number of adult-born neurons reaching their final destination.

Collagen XIX is expressed by interneurons and contributes to the formation of hippocampal synapses.

  • Su J
  • J. Comp. Neurol.
  • 2010 Jan 10

Literature context:


Extracellular matrix (ECM) molecules contribute to the formation and maintenance of synapses in the mammalian nervous system. We previously discovered a family of nonfibrillar collagens that organize synaptic differentiation at the neuromuscular junction (NMJ). Although many NMJ-organizing cues contribute to central nervous system (CNS) synaptogenesis, whether similar roles for collagens exist at central synapses remained unclear. In the present study we discovered that col19a1, the gene encoding nonfibrillar collagen XIX, is expressed by subsets of hippocampal neurons. Colocalization with the interneuron-specific enzyme glutamate decarboxylase 67 (Gad67), but not other cell-type-specific markers, suggests that hippocampal expression of col19a1 is restricted to interneurons. However, not all hippocampal interneurons express col19a1 mRNA; subsets of neuropeptide Y (NPY)-, somatostatin (Som)-, and calbindin (Calb)-immunoreactive interneurons express col19a1, but those containing parvalbumin (Parv) or calretinin (Calr) do not. To assess whether collagen XIX is required for the normal formation of hippocampal synapses, we examined synaptic morphology and composition in targeted mouse mutants lacking collagen XIX. We show here that subsets of synaptotagmin 2 (Syt2)-containing hippocampal nerve terminals appear malformed in the absence of collagen XIX. The presence of Syt2 in inhibitory hippocampal synapses, the altered distribution of Gad67 in collagen XIX-deficient subiculum, and abnormal levels of gephyrin in collagen XIX-deficient hippocampal extracts all suggest inhibitory synapses are affected by the loss of collagen XIX. Together, these data not only reveal that collagen XIX is expressed by central neurons, but show for the first time that a nonfibrillar collagen is necessary for the formation of hippocampal synapses.