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L-Glutamate is the major excitatory neurotransmitter in the mammalian CNS. It acts through ligand gated ion channels (ionotropic receptors) and G-protein coupled (metabotropic) receptors. These receptors are involved in excitatory synaptic transmission and synaptic plasticity which are thought to underlie learning and memory. Glutamate uptake in the CNS is mediated by high-affinity, sodium-dependent excitatory amino acid transporters (EAAT1-5).
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