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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

GluR2 knockdown reveals a dissociation between [Ca2+]i surge and neurotoxicity.

Reduction in GluR2 subunit expression and subsequent increases in AMPA receptor mediated Ca(2+) currents were postulated to exacerbate glutamate neurotoxicity following seizures or global ischemia. To directly test the effects of shifting the GluR1/GluR2 subunit ratio on excitotoxicity, GluR2 antisense deoxyoligonucleotides (AS-ODNs) were applied to dissociated hippocampal cultures for 1-8 days. The GluR1/GluR2 protein ratio was examined immunohistochemically and by Western blotting. [Ca(2+)](i) concentrations were determined by ratiometric imaging of Fura 2-loaded cells. The cultures were exposed to glutamate, AMPA, NMDA or kainic acid (KA) 3 days after GluR2 knockdown and cell viability was determined 1 day later by MTT reduction assay or Trypan blue exclusion. Although GluR2 AS-ODNs increased the GluR1/GluR2 protein ratio in a time dependent manner, neurons and glia appeared healthy and MTT reduction values were similar to untreated and sense controls. Basal [Ca(2+)](i) levels were unchanged but [Ca(2+)](i) was selectively increased by agonist stimulation of AMPA receptors. Unexpectedly, delayed neurotoxicity was attenuated at saturating doses of glutamate while little difference in cell viability was observed at lower doses or with the other excitotoxins at any concentration. Therefore, there was a dissociation between rises in AMPA receptor-mediated Ca(2+) influx and neurotoxicity despite marked decreases in GluR2 but not GluR1 immunoreactivity. It is proposed that a modification of AMPA receptor stochiometry that raises agonist-stimulated Ca(2+) influx during an excitotoxic insult may have eventual neuroprotective effects.[1]


  1. GluR2 knockdown reveals a dissociation between [Ca2+]i surge and neurotoxicity. Friedman, L.K., Segal, M., Velísková, J. Neurochem. Int. (2003) [Pubmed]
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