The contents of glutamate and GABA, as well as aspartate, glycine, and alanine, were examined in the cerebellar vermis and hemispheres of normal and Purkinje cell degeneration (pcd) mutant mice at 6, 9, and 12 months of age. Relative to normal values, the content of glutamate was approximately 50% lower in the vermis for the 3 age groups. In the hemispheres, the content of glutamate was also lower than control values and showed a progressive loss from 30 to 47% with age. On the other hand, in the case of GABA in the vermis, the level was 39% lower in the pcd mutant at 6 months of age but no different from control values at 12 months. However, relative to data for normal mice, the content of GABA in the hemispheres was consistently lower (20%) for all age groups. The level of aspartate was approximately 60% lower in the cerebellar vermis and 45 to 55% lower in the hemispheres of the mutant with respect to control data for all three age groups. Likewise, alanine showed a reduced content in the hemispheres (36-46%) and vermis (24%) in the mutant relative to normal values at 6, 9, and 12 months of age. On the other hand, the level of glycine was 43-64% higher in the vermis and 77-100% greater in the hemispheres of the mutant than in the control group. The higher values for glycine were observed at the two oldest ages. In conclusions, the data are consistent with the idea that glutamate and GABA are present in high concentrations in granule and Purkinje cells, respectively, and provide additional support for a transmitter function for both amino acids in the cerebellum.
- cerebellar vermis
- Purkinje Cell degeneration mutant
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