Impairment of serine transport across the blood–brain barrier by deletion of Slc38a5 causes developmental delay and motor dysfunction

Inna Radzishevsky, Maali Odeh, Oded Bodner, Salman Zubedat, Lihi Shaulov, Maxim Litvak, Kayoko Esaki, Takeo Yoshikawa, Bella Agranovich, Wen Hong Li, Alex Radzishevsky, Eyal Gottlieb, Avi Avital, Herman Wolosker

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Brain L-serine is critical for neurodevelopment and is thought to be synthesized solely from glucose. In contrast, we found that the influx of L-serine across the blood–brain barrier (BBB) is essential for brain development. We identified the endothelial Slc38a5, previously thought to be a glutamine transporter, as an L-serine transporter expressed at the BBB in early postnatal life. Young Slc38a5 knockout (KO) mice exhibit developmental alterations and a decrease in brain L-serine and D-serine, without changes in serum or liver amino acids. Slc38a5-KO brains exhibit accumulation of neurotoxic deoxysphingolipids, synaptic and mitochondrial abnormalities, and decreased neurogenesis at the dentate gyrus. Slc38a5-KO pups exhibit motor impairments that are affected by the administration of L-serine at concentrations that replenish the serine pool in the brain. Our results highlight a critical role of Slc38a5 in supplying L-serine via the BBB for proper brain development.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere2302780120
JournalProceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
Volume120
Issue number42
DOIs
StatePublished - 17 Oct 2023

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
Copyright © 2023 the Author(s).

Keywords

  • D-serine
  • deoxysphingolipids
  • serine metabolism
  • synaptopathy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General

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