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Inhibition of the group I mGluRs reduces acute brain damage and improves long-term histological outcomes after photothrombosis-induced ischaemia

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Author(s): Hailong Li | Nannan Zhang | Grace Sun | Shinghua Ding

Journal: ASN Neuro
ISSN 1759-0914

Volume: 5;
Issue: 3;
Start page: e00117;
Date: 2013;
Original page

Keywords: apoptosis | calpain | cell proliferation | glial scar | mGluRs | neuronal death | penumbra | photothrombosis | tissue loss

ABSTRACT
Group I mGluRs (metabotropic glutamate receptors), including mGluR1 and mGluR5, are GPCRs (G-protein coupled receptors) and play important roles in physiology and pathology. Studies on their role in cerebral ischaemia have provided controversial results. In this study, we used a PT (photothrombosis)-induced ischaemia model to investigate whether antagonists to the group I mGluRs may offer acute and long-term protective effects in adult mice. Our results demonstrated that administration with mGluR5 antagonist MPEP [2-methyl-6-(phenylethynyl)-pyridine] or mGluR1 antagonist LY367385 by intraperitoneal injection at 3 h after PT decreased brain infarct volume evaluated one day after ischaemia. Additive effects on infarct volume were observed upon co-injection with MPEP and LY367385. These antagonists also significantly alleviated neurodegeneration and apoptosis in the penumbra. In addition, when evaluated 2 weeks after PT, they reduced infarct volume and tissue loss, attenuated glial scar formation, and inhibited cell proliferation in the penumbra. Importantly, co-injection with MPEP and LY367385 reduced the expression levels of calpain, a Ca2+-activated protease known to mediate ischaemia-induced neuronal death. Injection of calpeptin, a calpain inhibitor, could inhibit neuronal death and brain damage after PT but injection of calpeptin together with MPEP and LY367385 did not further improve the protective effects mediated by MPEP and LY367385. These results suggest that inhibition of group I mGluRs is sufficient to protect ischaemic damage through the calpain pathway. Taken together, our results demonstrate that inhibition of group I mGluRs can mitigate PT-induced brain damage through attenuating the effects of calpain, and improve long-term histological outcomes.
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