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glutamate & blood-brain-barrier

Douglas Fitts dfitts at carson.u.washington.edu
Fri Sep 3 00:01:50 EST 1993


jstream at girch1.med.uth.tmc.edu (rifle river) writes:

>In article <CBq29H.9vH at anat.UMSMED.EDU>, jbh at anat.UMSMED.EDU (James B.
>Hutchins) wrote:
>> amino acids synthesized by brain, including those amino acids which act
>>                                   ^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^
>> as neurotransmitters, are not only limited in their entry but are actively
>> ^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^
>> transported out of the brain (A system)."  [Emphasis mine.  L=luminal

>So what is the problem with eating large quantities of Monosodium
>glutamate?
>Does it inhibit the transport out?  Does it actually induce light sleep?

Presumably the risk is the effect on circumventricular organs, nuclei
of the brain with chemoreceptive function which lie outside the blood-
brain barrier.  These nuclei are susceptible to toxins in the blood.

As far as I know, the main danger is to very young nervous systems when
ingested in moderate quantities.  Others may disagree.

On the other hand, domoic acid, a dietary toxic amino acid from shellfish,
has its main route of injury throught the CVOs.

Doug Fitts
dfitts at u.washington.edu



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