Excitatory Amino Acid Transporter 5 is widely expressed in peripheral tissues

  • A. Lee | aven.lee@uq.edu.au University of Queensland, Australia.
  • A.R. Anderson University of Queensland, Australia.
  • M. Stevens University of Queensland, Australia.
  • S. Beasley University of Queensland, Australia.
  • N.L. Barnett Queensland Eye Institute; University of Queensland., Australia.
  • D.V. Pow RMIT University, Australia.


It is routinely stated in the literature that Excitatory Amino Acid Transporter 5 (EAAT5) is a retina-specific glutamate transporter. EAAT5 is expressed by retinal photoreceptors and bipolar cells, where it serves as a slow transporter and as an inhibitory glutamate receptor, the latter role is due to the gating of a large chloride conductance. The dogma of an exclusively retinal distribution has arisen because Northern blot analyses have previously shown only modest hybridisation in non-retinal tissues. Others have re-interpreted this as indicating that EAAT5 was only present in retinal tissues. However, this view appears to be erroneous; recent evidence demonstrating abundant expression of EAAT5 in rat testis prompted us to re-examine this dogma. A new antibody was developed to an intracellular loop region of rat EAAT5. This new tool, in concert with RT-PCR and sequencing, demonstrated that EAAT5 is widely distributed at the mRNA and protein levels in many non-nervous tissues including liver, kidney, intestine, heart, lung, and skeletal muscle. We conclude that EAAT5 is a widely distributed protein. Whether it functions in all locations as a glutamate transporter, or mainly as a glutamate-gated chloride conductance, remains to be determined.



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Original Papers
Supporting Agencies
Supported by NHMRC project grants to DVP
EAAT5, glutamate, transporter, heart, lung, kidney
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How to Cite
Lee, A., Anderson, A., Stevens, M., Beasley, S., Barnett, N., & Pow, D. (2013). Excitatory Amino Acid Transporter 5 is widely expressed in peripheral tissues. European Journal of Histochemistry, 57(1), e11. https://doi.org/10.4081/ejh.2013.e11