D-Serine is localized in mammalian brain to a discrete population of glial cells near NMDA receptors, suggesting that D-serine is an endogenous agonist of the receptor-associated glycine site. To explore this possibility, we have compared the immunohistochemical localizations of D-serine, glycine, and NMDA receptors in rat brain. In the telencephalon, D-serine is concentrated in protoplasmic astrocytes, which are abundant in neuropil in close vicinity to NMDA receptor 2A/B subunits. Ultrastructural examination of the CA1 region of hippocampus reveals D-serine in the cytosolic matrix of astrocytes that ensheath neurons and blood vessels, whereas NR2A/B is concentrated in dendritic spines. By contrast, glycine immunoreactivity in telencephalon is the lowest in brain. During postnatal week 2, D-serine levels in cerebellum are comparable to those in adult cerebral cortex but fall to undetectable levels by day 26. During week 2, we observe parallel ontogeny of D-serine in Bergmann glia and NR2A/B in Purkinje cells, suggesting a role for astrocytic D-serine in NMDA receptor-mediated synaptogenesis. D-Serine in the radial processes of Bergmann glia is also well positioned to regulate NMDA receptor-dependent granule cell migration. In the inner granule layer, D-serine is found transiently in protoplasmic astrocytes surrounding glomeruli, where it could regulate development of the mossy fiber/granule cell synapse. D-Serine seems to be the endogenous ligand of glycine sites in the telencephalon and developing cerebellum, whereas glycine predominates in the adult cerebellum, olfactory bulb, and hindbrain.
|Original language||English (US)|
|Number of pages||12|
|Journal||Journal of Neuroscience|
|State||Published - Mar 1 1997|
- D-amino acid
- NMDA receptor
ASJC Scopus subject areas