Age-related and function-dependent regional alterations of free L- and D-Aspartate in postembryonic chick brain

Gergely Zachar, Tamás Jakó, István Vincze, Zsolt Wagner, T. Tábi, Eszter Bálint, Szilvia Mezey, Éva Szökö, A. Csillág

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

2 Citations (Scopus)


D-aspartate (D-Asp) modulates adult neural plasticity and embryonic brain development by promoting cell proliferation, survival and differentiation. Here, developmental changes of the excitatory amino acids (EAAs) L-Glu, L-Asp and D-Asp were determined during the first postembryonic days, a time window for early learning, in selected brain regions of domestic chickens after chiral separation and capillary electrophoresis. Extracellular concentration (ECC) of EAAs was measured in microdialysis samples from freely moving chicks. ECC of D-Asp (but not L-EAAs) decreased during the first week of age, with no considerable regional or learning-related variation. ECC of L-Asp and L-Glu (but not of D-Asp) were elevated in the mSt/Ac in response to a rewarding stimulus, suggesting importance of Asp-Glu co-release in synaptic plasticity of basal ganglia. Potassium-evoked release of D-Asp, with a protracted transient, was also demonstrated. D-Asp constitutes greater percentage of total aspartate in the extracellular space than in whole tissue extracts, thus the bulk of D-Asp detected in tissue appears in the extracellular space. Conversely, only a fraction of tissue L-EAAs can be detected in extracellular space. The lack of changes in tissue D-Asp following avoidance learning indicates a tonic, rather than phasic, mechanism in the neuromodulatory action of this amino acid.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-15
Number of pages15
JournalActa Biologica Hungarica
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Mar 1 2018


  • Amygdala
  • Arcopallium
  • Avian brain
  • D-aspartic acid
  • Postembryonic development

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
  • Environmental Science(all)
  • Neurology

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