Polyamine uptake in cultured astrocytes: Characterization and modulation by protein kinases

J. Dot, M. Lluch, I. Blanco, J. Rodriguez-Alvarez

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33 Citations (Scopus)


The properties and regulation of the polyamine transport system in brain are still poorly understood. The present study shows, for the first time, the existence of a polyamine transport system in cerebellar astrocytes and suggests that polyamine uptake is mediated by a single and saturable high-affinity transport system for putrescine, spermine, and spermidine (K(m) = 3.2, 1.2, and 1.8 μM, respectively). Although substitution of NaCl by choline chloride produced a decrease in the putrescine, spermine, and spermidine uptake, it seems that polyamine transport in cerebellar astrocytes is not mediated by an Na+ cotransport as in the presence of Na+ and cholinium, polyamine uptake was much lower than when measured in a sucrose-based medium. On the other hand, ouabain, gramicidin (a Na+ ionophore), and ionomycin (a Ca2+ ionophore) produced a strong inhibition of polyamine uptake, suggesting that membrane potential could have an important role in the functioning of the astroglial polyamine uptake system. Moreover, protein kinase C inhibition produced an enhancement of polyamine uptake, whereas stimulation of protein kinase C with phorbol esters inhibited polyamine uptake. Alternatively, the tyrosine kinase inhibitor genistein caused a marked reduction in the uptake. No effects on polyamine uptake were observed with inhibitors and activators of cyclic AMP-dependent protein kinase or when Ca2+/calmodulin-dependent protein kinase II was inhibited with KN-62. These results suggest that the polyamine uptake system in cerebellar astrocytes could be modulated by protein kinase C and tyrosine kinase activities.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1917-1926
JournalJournal of Neurochemistry
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2000


  • Astrocytes
  • Polyamines
  • Protein kinases
  • Putrescine
  • Spermidine
  • Spermine
  • Uptake


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