Journal of Pharmacological Sciences
Online ISSN : 1347-8648
Print ISSN : 1347-8613
Current Perspective
Glutamate Signaling System in Bone
Eiichi HinoiTakeshi TakaradaYukio Yoneda
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2004 Volume 94 Issue 3 Pages 215-220


L-Glutamate (Glu) has been thought to be an excitatory amino acid neurotransmitter in the mammalian central nervous system (CNS). The hypothesis is supported by successful cloning of a number of genes encoding different signaling molecules, such as Glu receptors for signal input, Glu transporters for signal termination, and vesicular Glu transporters for signal output through exocytotic release. Limited information is available in the literature with regard to an extracellular transmitter role of Glu in peripheral neuronal and non-neuronal tissues, whereas recent molecular biological analyses including ours give rise to a novel function for Glu as an autocrine and/or paracrine factor in bone comprised of osteoblasts, osteoclasts, and osteocytes, in addition to other peripheral tissues including pancreas, adrenal, and pituitary glands. Emerging evidence suggests that Glu could play a dual role in mechanisms underlying maintenance of cellular homeostasis as an excitatory neurotransmitter in the CNS and as an extracellular signal mediator in peripheral autocrine and/or paracrine tissues. In this review, therefore, we summarized the possible signaling by Glu as an extracellular signal mediator in mechanisms underlying maintenance of cellular homeostasis with a focus on bone tissues.

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© The Japanese Pharmacological Society 2004
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