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

Changes in gene expression of AMPA-selective glutamate receptor subunits induced by status epilepticus in rat brain.

In the present investigation we address the question of whether one of the responses to increased neuronal activity is a modification of the expression of the different subunits of alpha-amino-3-hydroxy-5-methyl-4-isoxazole propionate (AMPA)-selective glutamate receptors (GluR-1, GluR-2, GluR-3). Thus, we used two different models of generalized status epilepticus, as widespread elevated neuronal activity, to study in vivo responses of the AMPA receptor mRNA expression in rat forebrain. By Northern blot analysis and in situ hybridization, we show that one of the delayed responses to LiCl/pilocarpine-induced status epilepticus is a dramatic change in the mRNA level of some subunits of AMPA-selective glutamate receptors. These effects, which appear between 6 and 12 h after the drug treatment, are subunit and brain region specific. The most striking example of differential expression of the three examined GluR mRNAs can be observed in the dentate gyrus of the hippocampus. In this specific brain subregion an increase of GluR-3 mRNA level is induced 12 h after LiCl/pilocarpine treatment, while a clear decrease in GluR-1 mRNA level and no significant change in GluR-2 mRNA level can be observed in the same area under these experimental conditions. Both the GluR-1 decrease and the GluR-3 increase are transient effects and a return to basal level can be observed after 48-72 h. In the CA1 layer of the hippocampus, a parallel decrease of both GluR-1 and GluR-3 expression is found 12-24 h after drug treatment, followed by a recovery of the expression to control values at 48 h. In kainate-induced epilepsy we could reproduce the late increase (12-24 h) in GluR-3 mRNA in the dentate gyrus; however, under this experimental condition, no clear decrease of GluR-1 expression can be observed in this area. A general decrease in mRNA level for the AMPA receptor subunits (GluR-1-3) in the hippocampal layers, in particular in CA3 and CA4 subfields, was also observed. In conclusion the results reported in the present paper reveal a specific regulation of GluR gene expression in the granule cells of the hippocampal dentate gyrus and stimulate further investigation on the functional role of the GluR-3 subunit in the receptor-channel complex.[1]


  1. Changes in gene expression of AMPA-selective glutamate receptor subunits induced by status epilepticus in rat brain. Condorelli, D.F., Belluardo, N., Mudò, G., Dell'Albani, P., Jiang, X., Giuffrida-Stella, A.M. Neurochem. Int. (1994) [Pubmed]
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