Journal of neurochemistry

Increased intra- and extracellular concentrations of gamma-glutamylglutamate and related dipeptides in the ischemic rat striatum: involvement of glutamyl transpeptidase.

PMID 7931288


The present work relates to the possibility that the ATP-independent enzyme gamma-glutamyl transpeptidase (EC, which has been postulated to be part of an amino acid uptake system, is active during cerebral ischemia. This was evaluated in the ischemic rat striatum by determination of intra- and extracellular concentrations of gamma-glutamyl dipeptides (the products of the transpeptidation) and glutathione (the physiological gamma-glutamyl donor). An ischemic period (0-30 and 31-60 min) resulted in prominent increases in the respective concentration of extracellular gamma-glutamylglutamate (24- and 67-fold), gamma-glutamyltaurine + gamma-glutamylglycine (5.8- and 19-fold), and gamma-glutamylglutamine (2.6- and 6.8-fold) as revealed using in vivo microdialysis. The changes coincided with increased respective extracellular concentrations of glutamate (83- and 115-fold), taurine (17- and 25-fold), glycine (4.6- and 6.1-fold), and glutamine (1.7- and 2.1-fold). Furthermore, under anoxic conditions in vitro (0-30 and 0-60 min), respective striatal tissue concentrations were increased for gamma-glutamylglutamate (20- and 17-fold), gamma-glutamyltaurine (6.7- and 11-fold), gamma-glutamylglutamine (1.7- and 1.2-fold), and gamma-glutamylglycine (14- and 18-fold), whereas glutathione levels were, on an average, decreased by approximately 350 microM. In summary, gamma-glutamyl transpeptidase is involved in de novo dipeptide synthesis in the mammalian brain during anoxic conditions, indicating transport of amino acids such as glutamate.