Quantitative proteomics identifies a change in glial glutamate metabolism at the time of female puberty

Christian L. Roth, Ashley L. McCormack, Alejandro Lomniczi, Alison E. Mungenast, Sergio R. Ojeda

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

30 Scopus citations


Mammalian puberty requires activation of luteinizing hormone-releasing hormone (LHRH) neurons. In turn, these neurons are controlled by transsynaptic and glia-to-neuron communication pathways, which employ diverse cellular proteins for proper function. We have now used a high throughput relative quantitative proteomics technique to identify such proteins. We selected the method of two-dimensional liquid chromatography tandem mass spectrometry (2DLC-MS/MS) and cleavable isotope-coded affinity tags (cICAT), to both identify and quantify individual proteins within a complex protein mixture. The proteins used derived from the hypothalamus of juvenile (25-day-old) and peripubertal (first proestrus, LP) female rats, and their identity was established by analyzing their mass spectra via database searching. Five proteins involved in glutamate metabolism were detected and two of them appeared to be differentially expressed. They were selected for further analysis, because of their importance in controlling glutamate synthesis and degradation, and their preferential expression in astroglial cells. One, glutamate dehydrogenase (GDH) catalyzes glutamate synthesis; its hypothalamic content detected by 2DLC-MS/MS increases at first proestrus. The other, glutamine synthetase (GS), catalyzes the metabolism of glutamate to glutamine; its content decreases in proestrus. Western blot analysis verified these results. Because these changes suggested an increased glutamate production at puberty, we measured glutamate release from hypothalamic fragments from juvenile 29-day old rats, and from rats treated with PMSG to induce a premature proestrus surge of luteinizing hormone (LH). To determine the net output of glutamate in the absence of re-uptake we used the excitatory amino acid transporter (EAAT) inhibitor l-trans-pyrrolidine-2,4-dicarboxylic acid (PDC). PDC elicited significantly more glutamate- and LHRH-release from the proestrus hypothalamus. Thus, an increase excitatory drive to the LHRH neuronal network provided by glutamatergic inputs of glial origin, is an event contributing to the pubertal activation of LHRH secretion.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)51-59
Number of pages9
JournalMolecular and Cellular Endocrinology
StatePublished - Jul 25 2006
Externally publishedYes


  • Female puberty
  • Glial cells
  • Glutamate synthesis
  • Hypothalamus
  • Quantitative proteomics

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Biology
  • Endocrinology


Dive into the research topics of 'Quantitative proteomics identifies a change in glial glutamate metabolism at the time of female puberty'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this