• Agmatine;
  • Synaptosomes;
  • Calcium channels;
  • Transport;
  • Polyamines


  1. Top of page
  2. Abstract

Abstract: Agmatine (decarboxylated arginine), an endogenous ligand for imidazoline receptors, has been identified in brain where it is synthesized from arginine by arginine decarboxylase. Here we report a mechanism for the transport of agmatine into rat brain synaptosomes. The uptake of agmatine was energy- and temperature-dependent and saturable with a Km of 18.83 ± 3.31 mM and a Vmax of 4.78 ± 0.67 nmol/mg of protein/min. Treatment with ouabain (Na+,K+-ATPase inhibitor) or removal of extracellular Na+ did not attenuate the uptake rate. Agmatine transport was not inhibited by amino acids, polyamines, or monoamines, indicating that the uptake is not mediated by any amino acid, polyamine, or monoamine carriers. When we examined the effects of some ion-channel agents on agmatine uptake, only Ca2+-channel blockers inhibited the uptake, whereas a reduction in extracellular Ca2+ increased it. In addition, some imidazoline drugs, such as idazoxan and phentolamine, were strong noncompetitive inhibitors of agmatine uptake. Thus, a selective, Na+-independent uptake system for agmatine exists in brain and may be important in regulating the extracellular concentration of agmatine.

Abbreviations used: I receptor, imidazoline receptor.