D-aspartate disposition in neuronal and endocrine tissues: Ontogeny, biosynthesis and release

H. Wolosker, A. D'Aniello, S. H. Snyder

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

159 Scopus citations


High levels of D-aspartate occur in the brain and endocrine glands, such as pineal, adrenal and pituitary. In the brain, D-aspartate levels are highest in embryonic and early postnatal stages. Notably high levels occur in the early postnatal cortical plate and subventricular zone of the cerebral cortical cultures, implying a role in development. In embryonic neuronal primary culture cells, we detected high levels of endogenous D-aspartate and demonstrated biosynthesis of [14C]D-aspartate using [14C]L-aspartate as precursor. Synthesis of D-aspartate in cell cultures is inhibited by amino-oxyacetic acid, an inhibitor of pyridoxal phosphate-dependent enzymes. In the rat adrenal medulla, D-aspartate is depleted by treatment of the animals with intraperitoneal nicotine injections. In adrenal slices, D-aspartate is released by depolarization with KCl or acetylcholine, implying physiological release by activation of the cholinergic innervation of the adrenal.Our characterization of D-aspartate ontogeny, biosynthesis and depolarization-induced release implies specific physiological roles for this amino acid. Copyright (C) 2000 IBRO.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)183-189
Number of pages7
Issue number1
StatePublished - Sep 7 2000


  • Adrenal medulla
  • D-amino acid oxidase
  • D-amino acids
  • D-aspartate oxidase
  • D-serine
  • Pineal gland

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuroscience(all)


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