Expression of Microbial Enzymes in Mammalian Astrocytes to Modulate Lactate Release

Barbara Vaccari Cardoso, Iliana Barrera, Valentina Mosienko, Alexander V. Gourine, Sergey Kasparov, Anja G. Teschemacher*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (Academic Journal)peer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)


Astrocytes support and modulate neuronal activity through the release of L-lactate. The suggested roles of astrocytic lactate in the brain encompass an expanding range of vital functions, including central control of respiration and cardiovascular performance, learning, memory, executive behaviour and regulation of mood. Studying the effects of astrocytic lactate requires tools that limit the release of lactate selectively from astrocytes. Here, we report the validation in vitro of novel molecular constructs derived from enzymes originally found in bacteria, that when expressed in astrocytes, interfere with lactate handling. When lactate 2-monooxygenase derived from M. smegmatis was specifically expressed in astrocytes, it reduced intracellular lactate pools as well as lactate release upon stimulation. D-lactate dehydrogenase derived from L. bulgaricus diverts pyruvate towards D-lactate production and release by astrocytes, which may affect signalling properties of lactate in the brain. Together with lactate oxidase, which we have previously described, this set of transgenic tools can be employed to better understand astrocytic lactate release and its role in the regulation of neuronal activity in different behavioural contexts.
Original languageEnglish
JournalBrain Sciences
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - 10 Aug 2021


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