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Open Access Highly Accessed Review

Manganese Neurotoxicity: a Focus on Glutamate Transporters

Pratap Karki1, Eunsook Lee1 and Michael Aschner2*

Author Affiliations

1 Department of Physiology, Meharry Medical College, Nashville, TN, USA

2 Department of Pediatrics, Vanderbilt University Medical Center, 2215-B Garland Avenue, 11415 MRB IV, Nashville, TN, 37232-0414, USA

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Annals of Occupational and Environmental Medicine 2013, 25:4  doi:10.1186/2052-4374-25-4

Published: 21 May 2013


Manganese (Mn) is an essential element that is required in trace amount for normal growth, development as well maintenance of proper function and regulation of numerous cellular and biochemical reactions. Yet, excessive Mn brain accumulation upon chronic exposure to occupational or environmental sources of this metal may lead to a neurodegenerative disorder known as manganism, which shares similar symptoms with idiopathic Parkinson’s disease (PD). In recent years, Mn exposure has gained public health interest for two primary reasons: continuous increased usage of Mn in various industries, and experimental findings on its toxicity, linking it to a number of neurological disorders. Since the first report on manganism nearly two centuries ago, there have been substantial advances in the understanding of mechanisms associated with Mn-induced neurotoxicity. This review will briefly highlight various aspects of Mn neurotoxicity with a focus on the role of astrocytic glutamate transporters in triggering its pathophysiology.

Manganese; Neurotoxicity; Astrocytes; Glutamate transporters