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Title: Structural and functional characteristics of glutamate transporters: How they are related to epilepsy and oxidative stress [Caracter�sticas estructurales y funcionales de los transportadores de glutamato: Su relaci�n con la epilepsia y el estr�s oxidativo]
Author: Medina-Ceja, L.
Guerrero-Cazares, H.
Canales-Aguirre, A.
Morales-Villagran, A.
Feria-Velasco, A.
Issue Date: 2007
Abstract: Aims. The article highlights the general structural characteristics, functional properties and distribution of glutamate transporters, as well as the role they play in epilepsy and oxidative stress. Development. Transporters of amino acids such as glutamate are considered to be proteins that are extremely important in the central nervous system because they participate in the capture of the neurotransmitter following its release in the synaptic cleft, thus putting an end to its effect and limiting glutamate-mediated excitability. These proteins belong to the family of Na+/Kx+ dependent transporters. A growing body of evidence has been gathered to show that these transporters are involved in several neuronal disorders, such as epilepsy and cerebral ischaemia. In this regard, it is considered that some defect in the structure of the transporters could affect their functioning and, therefore, favour the hyperexcitability produced by glutamate; this in turn would lead to the pathological disorders that are found in epilepsy. Conclusions. A detailed study of the structure and functioning of these transporters, as well as the role they play in the more common neurological diseases, such as epilepsy, would afford us a clearer view of new therapeutic alternatives with which to fight this kind of neuronal disorder in the future. � 2007, Revista de Neurolog�a.
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