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

Lipopolysaccharide increases microglial GLT-1 expression and glutamate uptake capacity in vitro by a mechanism dependent on TNF-alpha.

This study investigates the effect of microglial activation on microglial glutamate transporters in vitro. Stimuli known to activate microglia and/or to be associated with pathological conditions with an impaired astroglial glutamate uptake were compared. Morphological changes and marked increases in ED1 antigen expression were found after 8-h incubation of rat microglia in 56 mM KCl, 1 ng/ml lipopolysaccharide (LPS), and 100 microM glutamate, as well as in acidic and basic conditions, showing that the cells were activated. Of the stimuli used, only LPS induced a significant release of the proinflammatory cytokines tumor necrosis factor-alpha (TNF-alpha) and interleukin-6 (IL-6), and was the only stimulus that increased microglial GLT-1 expression and glutamate uptake capacity after 12-h incubation. This effect was probably mediated by TNF-alpha, since this cytokine mimicked the effect of LPS. Furthermore, the effect of LPS was blocked by thalidomide, an inhibitor of TNF-alpha synthesis. Additionally, neutralizing antibodies against TNF-alpha also blocked the increase, indicating TNF-alpha as an inducer of GLT-1 expression in microglia. It was also found that preincubation with glutamate dose-dependently inhibited the microglial glutamate uptake. This could suggest different physiological functions for microglial and astroglial glutamate uptake and might indicate a reciprocal control of GLT-1 expression between microglia and astrocytes.[1]


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