Ionic mechanisms in glutamate-induced astrocyte swelling: Role of K+ influx

Alex S. Bender, Arne Schousboe, Winfried Reichelt, Michael D. Norenberg

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

83 Scopus citations


L-Glutamate (L-GLU) induced astrocyte swelling in a time- and concentration-dependent, as well as Na+and Ca2+-dependent, and Cl- independent manner. Swelling was prevented by MK-801, cystine, and ouabain. Since L-GLU swelling is ionically dependent, we determined the role of various ions in such swelling. Our results indicate that K+ uptake plays a major role in the mechanism of L-GLU-induced astrocyte swelling. Like swelling, K+ uptake is dependent on Ca2+ and Na+, but not on Cl-. Likewise, K+ uptake was inhibited by MK-801, cystine, and ouabain. The K+ channel blockers, Ba2+ and tetraethylammonium, partially prevented L-GLU- induced swelling. In addition to K+ channels, K+ influx may also be mediated through Na+/K+-ATPase, as its activity is increased by L-GLU uptake along with the required Na+. Taken together, the data suggest that K+ influx plays a key role in the mechanism of L-GLU-mediated astrocyte swelling.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)307-321
Number of pages15
JournalJournal of Neuroscience Research
Issue number3
StatePublished - May 1 1998


  • Astrocyte
  • Calcium
  • Cystine
  • Glutamate swelling
  • MK-801
  • Potassium uptake

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuroscience(all)


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