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1.  GluN2A and GluN2B NMDA Receptor Subunits Differentially Modulate Striatal Output Pathways and Contribute to Levodopa-Induced Abnormal Involuntary Movements in Dyskinetic Rats 
ACS Chemical Neuroscience  2013;4(5):808-816.
Dual probe microdialysis was used to investigate whether GluN2A and GluN2B NMDA receptor subunits regulate striatal output pathways under dyskinetic conditions. The preferential GluN2A antagonist NVP-AAM077 perfused in the dopamine-depleted striatum of 6-hydroxydopamine hemilesioned dyskinetic rats reduced GABA and glutamate levels in globus pallidus whereas the selective GluN2B antagonist Ro 25-6981 elevated glutamate without affecting pallidal GABA. Moreover, intrastriatal NVP-AAM077 did not affect GABA but elevated glutamate levels in substantia nigra reticulata whereas Ro 25-6981 elevated GABA and reduced nigral glutamate. To investigate whether GluN2A and GluN2B NMDA receptor subunits are involved in motor pathways underlying dyskinesia expression, systemic NVP-AAM077 and Ro 25-6981 were tested for their ability to attenuate levodopa-induced abnormal involuntary movements. NVP-AAM077 failed to prevent dyskinesia while Ro 25-6981 mildly attenuated it. We conclude that in the dyskinetic striatum, striatal GluN2A subunits tonically stimulate the striato-pallidal pathway whereas striatal GluN2B subunits tonically inhibit striato-nigral projections. Moreover, GluN2A subunits are not involved in dyskinesia expression whereas GluN2B subunits minimally contribute to it.
PMCID: PMC3656753  PMID: 23611155
GABA; microdialysis; NMDA receptor subunits; NVP-AAM077; 6-OHDA; Ro 25-6981
2.  Reduced Metabotropic Glutamate Receptor 5 Density in Major Depression Determined by [11C]ABP688 Positron Emission Tomography and Postmortem Study 
The American journal of psychiatry  2011;168(7):727-734.
Clinical and preclinical evidence suggest a hyperactive glutamatergic system in clinical depression. Recently, the metabotropic glutamate receptor 5 (mGluR5) has been proposed as an attractive target for discovery of novel therapeutic approaches against depression. The goal of this study was to compare mGluR5 binding (PET study) and mGluR5 protein expression (postmortem study) between subjects with major depressive disorder and healthy controls.
Images of mGluR5 receptor binding were acquired using PET and [11C]ABP688 that binds to an allosteric site with high specificity in 11 unmedicated subjects with major depression and 11 matched healthy controls; the amount of mGluR5 protein was investigated using Western blot method in brain samples of 15 depressed subjects and 15 matched controls (postmortem study).
The PET study revealed decreased regional mGluR5 binding in the prefrontal cortex, the cingulate cortex, the insula, the thalamus and the hippocampus of the depressed individuals (uncorrected p<0.001). Severity of depression correlated negatively with mGluR5 binding in the hippocampus (cluster-level corrected p=0.029). The postmortem study showed reduced mGluR5 protein expression in the prefrontal cortex (Brodmann's area 10) in depression (p<0.014), while prefrontal mGluR1 protein expression was unchanged.
The reductions in mGluR5 binding found in the depressed sample are compatible with reduced protein expression in postmortem tissue. Thus, both studies suggest that basal or compensatory changes in excitatory neurotransmission play roles in the pathophysiology of major depression.
PMCID: PMC3129412  PMID: 21498461
3.  Prolongation of Levodopa Responses by GlycineB Antagonists in Parkinsonian Primates 
Annals of Neurology  2004;56(5):723-727.
To examine the antiparkinsonian effects of blocking glycineB receptors, we designed a pilot study testing the potent and selective antagonist, PAMQX, in 1-methyl-4-phenyl-1,2,3,6-tetrahydropyridine-treated primates. PAMQX had no intrinsic effects but markedly potentiated the antiparkinsonian action of levodopa. In a dose-dependent fashion, coadministration of the glycineB antagonist with levodopa extended the response duration by nearly 60%. It is noteworthy that PAMQX, within a considerable dose range, did not cause ataxia or other side effects. These data indicate that blocking N-methyl-d-aspartate receptors selectively to manipulate dopaminergic-mediated motor responses may be produced effectively by glycineB antagonists.
PMCID: PMC3325144  PMID: 15470750
4.  Enhanced Astrocytic Ca2+ Signals Contribute to Neuronal Excitotoxicity after Status Epilepticus 
Status epilepticus (SE), an unremitting seizure, is known to cause a variety of traumatic responses including delayed neuronal death and later cognitive decline. Although excitotoxicity has been implicated in this delayed process, the cellular mechanisms are unclear. Because our previous brain slice studies have shown that chemically induced epileptiform activity can lead to elevated astrocytic Ca2+ signaling and because these signals are able to induce the release of the excitotoxic transmitter glutamate from these glia, we asked whether astrocytes are activated during status epilepticus and whether they contribute to delayed neuronal death in vivo. Using two-photon microscopy in vivo, we show that status epilepticus enhances astrocytic Ca2+ signals for 3 d and that the period of elevated glial Ca2+ signaling is correlated with the period of delayed neuronal death. To ask whether astrocytes contribute to delayed neuronal death, we first administered antagonists which inhibit gliotransmission: MPEP [2-methyl-6-(phenylethynyl)pyridine], a metabotropic glutamate receptor 5 antagonist that blocks astrocytic Ca2+ signals in vivo, and ifenprodil, an NMDA receptor antagonist that reduces the actions of glial-derived glutamate. Administration of these antagonists after SE provided significant neuronal protection raising the potential for a glial contribution to neuronal death. To test this glial hypothesis directly, we loaded Ca2+ chelators selectively into astrocytes after status epilepticus. We demonstrate that the selective attenuation of glial Ca2+ signals leads to neuronal protection. These observations support neurotoxic roles for astrocytic gliotransmission in pathological conditions and identify this process as a novel therapeutic target.
PMCID: PMC2917229  PMID: 17913901
astrocyte; NMDA; metabotropic glutamate receptor; epilepsy; calcium; astrocytic glutamate release
5.  Double Dissociation of Spike Timing–Dependent Potentiation and Depression by Subunit-Preferring NMDA Receptor Antagonists in Mouse Barrel Cortex 
Cerebral Cortex (New York, NY)  2009;19(12):2959-2969.
Spike timing–dependent plasticity (STDP) is a strong candidate for an N-methyl-D-aspartate (NMDA) receptor-dependent form of synaptic plasticity that could underlie the development of receptive field properties in sensory neocortices. Whilst induction of timing-dependent long-term potentiation (t-LTP) requires postsynaptic NMDA receptors, timing-dependent long-term depression (t-LTD) requires the activation of presynaptic NMDA receptors at layer 4-to-layer 2/3 synapses in barrel cortex. Here we investigated the developmental profile of t-LTD at layer 4-to-layer 2/3 synapses of mouse barrel cortex and studied their NMDA receptor subunit dependence. Timing-dependent LTD emerged in the first postnatal week, was present during the second week and disappeared in the adult, whereas t-LTP persisted in adulthood. An antagonist at GluN2C/D subunit–containing NMDA receptors blocked t-LTD but not t-LTP. Conversely, a GluN2A subunit–preferring antagonist blocked t-LTP but not t-LTD. The GluN2C/D subunit requirement for t-LTD appears to be synapse specific, as GluN2C/D antagonists did not block t-LTD at horizontal cross-columnar layer 2/3-to-layer 2/3 synapses, which was blocked by a GluN2B antagonist instead. These data demonstrate an NMDA receptor subunit-dependent double dissociation of t-LTD and t-LTP mechanisms at layer 4-to-layer 2/3 synapses, and suggest that t-LTD is mediated by distinct molecular mechanisms at different synapses on the same postsynaptic neuron.
PMCID: PMC2774397  PMID: 19363149
development; LTD; LTP; rodent; synaptic plasticity

Results 1-5 (5)