Nucleoside transporter expression and function in cultured mouse astrocytes
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Uptake of purine and pyrimidine nucleosides in astrocytes is important for several reasons: (1) uptake of nucleosides contributes to nucleic acid synthesis; (2) astrocytes synthesize AMP, ADP, and ATP from adenosine and GTP from guanosine; and (3) adenosine and guanosine function as neuromodulators, whose effects are partly terminated by cellular uptake. It has previously been shown that adenosine is rapidly accumulated by active uptake in astrocytes (Hertz and Matz, Neurochem Res 14:755-760, 1989), but the ratio between active uptake and metabolism-driven uptake of adenosine is unknown, as are uptake characteristics for guanosine. The present study therefore aims at providing detailed information of nucleoside transport and transporters in primary cultures of mouse astrocytes. Reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction identified the two equilibrative nucleoside transporters, ENT1 and ENT2, together with the concentrative nucleoside transporter CNT2, whereas CNT3 was absent, and CNT1 expression could not be investigated. Uptake studies of tritiated thymidine, formycin B, guanosine, and adenosine (3-s uptakes at 1-4 degrees C to study diffusional uptake and 1-60-min uptakes at 37 degrees C to study concentrative uptake) demonstrated a fast diffusional uptake of all four nucleosides, a small, Na(+)-independent and probably metabolism-driven uptake of thymidine (consistent with DNA synthesis), larger metabolism-driven uptakes of guanosine (consistent with synthesis of DNA, RNA, and GTP) and especially of adenosine (consistent with rapid nucleotide synthesis), and Na(+)-dependent uptakes of adenosine (consistent with its concentrative uptake) and guanosine, rendering neuromodulator uptake independent of nucleoside metabolism. Astrocytes are accordingly well suited for both intense nucleoside metabolism and metabolism-independent uptake to terminate neuromodulator effects of adenosine and guanosine.
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