Author(s): Gill SS, Pulido OM
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Abstract We illustrate the specific cellular distribution of different subtypes of glutamate receptors (GluRs) in peripheral neural and non-neural tissues. Some of the noteworthy locations are the heart, kidney, lungs, ovary, testis and endocrine cells. In these tissues the GluRs may be important in mediating cardiorespiratory, endocrine and reproductive functions which include hormone regulation, heart rhythm, blood pressure, circulation and reproduction. Since excitotoxicity of excitatory amino acids (EAAs) in the CNS is intimately associated with the GluRs, the toxic effects may be more generalized than initially assumed. Currently there is not enough evidence to suggest the reassessment of the regulated safety levels for these products in food since little is known on how these receptors work in each of these organs. More research is required to assess the extent that these receptors participate in normal functions and/or in the development of diseases and how they mediate the toxic effects of EAAs. Non-neural GluRs may be involved in normal cellular functions such as excitability and cell to cell communication. This is supported by the wide distribution in plants and animals from invertebrates to primates. The important tasks for the future will be to clarify the multiple biological roles of the GluRs in neural and non-neural tissues and identify the conditions under in which these are up- or down-regulated. Then this could provide new therapeutic strategies to target GluRs outside the CNS.
This article was published in Toxicol Pathol
and referenced in Journal of Neurology & Neurophysiology