Evidence of neuronal excitatory amino acid carrier 1 expression in rat dorsal root ganglion neurons and their central terminals Academic Article uri icon


  • The expression and distribution of the neuronal glutamate transporter, excitatory amino acid carrier-1 (EAAC1), are demonstrated in the dorsal root ganglion neurons and their central terminals. Reverse transcriptase-polymerase chain reaction shows expression of EAAC1 mRNA in the dorsal root ganglion. Immunoblotting analysis further confirms existence of EAAC1 protein in this region. Immunocytochemistry reveals that approximately 46.6% of the dorsal root ganglion neurons are EAAC1-positive. Most EAAC1-positive neurons are small and around 250-750 microm2 in surface area, and some co-label with calcitonin gene-related peptide (CGRP) or isolectin IB4. In the spinal cord, EAAC-1 immunoreactive small dot- or patch-like structures are mainly localized in the superficial dorsal horn, and some are positive for CGRP or labeled by isolectin IB4. Unilateral dorsal rhizotomy experiments further show that EAAC1 immunoreactivity is less intense in superficial dorsal horn on the side ipsilateral to the dorsal rhizotomy than on the contralateral side. The results indicate the presence of EAAC1 in the dorsal root ganglion neurons and their central terminals. Our findings suggest that EAAC1 might play an important role in transmission and modulation of nociceptive information via the regulation of pre-synaptically released glutamate.

author list (cited authors)

  • Tao, F., Liaw, W., Zhang, B., Yaster, M., Rothstein, J. D., Johns, R. A., & Tao, Y.

citation count

  • 52

publication date

  • January 2004