Glutamatergic signalling in the brain’s white matter.

Ragnhildur Þóra Káradóttir, Yamina Bakiri, V. Burzomato, G. Frugier, N. Hamilton , D. Attwell

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Glutamatergic signaling has been exceptionally well characterized in the brain's gray matter, where it underlies fast information processing, learning and memory, and also generates the neuronal damage that occurs in pathological conditions such as stroke. The role of glutamatergic signaling in the white matter, an area until recently thought to be devoid of synapses, is less well understood. Here we review what is known, and highlight what is not known, of glutamatergic signaling in the white matter. We focus on how glutamate is released, the location and properties of the receptors it acts on, the interacting molecules that may regulate trafficking or signaling of the receptors, the possible functional roles of glutamate in the white matter, and its pathological effects including the possibility of treating white matter disorders with glutamate receptor blockers.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)266-274
Number of pages9
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 12 Jan 2009

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
Supported by the Wellcome Trust, and by a Royal Society Dorothy Hodgkin Research Fellowship to Ragnhildur Káradóttir.

Other keywords

  • cerebral palsy
  • glutamate
  • ischemia
  • multiple sclerosis
  • NMDA
  • oligodendrocyte


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