excitatory amino acid transporter


Also found in: Acronyms.

excitatory amino acid transporter

Any of the sodium- and potassium-dependent members of the solute carrier family (SLC) 6, which are widely distributed in the brain. EAATs regulate excitatory neurotransmission, maintain low extracellular glutamate concentrations (reducing neurotoxicity) and provide glutamate for glutamate-glutamine cycle metabolism. Each of the five subtypes has a main primary distribution:
• EAAT1—Cerebellar glia;
• EAAT2—Forebrain glia;
• EAAT3—Cortical neurons;
• EAAT4—Cerebellar Purkinje neurons;
• EAAT5—Retina.

Molecular pathology
EAAT overactivity has been implicated in schizophrenia and other mental illnesses; underactivity occurs in ischaemia and traumatic brain injury.
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