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Early modifications in N-methyl-D-aspartate receptor subunit mRNA levels in an oxygen and glucose deprivation model using rat hippocampal brain slices.

Dos-Anjos S., Martinez-Villayandre B., Montori S., Perez-Garcia C.C., Fernandez-Lopez A.

Glutamatergic N-methyl-d-aspartate NMDA receptors (NMDAR) are considered to play a key role in ischemia-induced damage. Long-term (hours) changes in their expression upon ischemia have been shown. Here we report short-term changes in the mRNA levels of the major hippocampal NMDAR subunits (NR1, NR2A and NR2B), as well as c-fos, in an ex vivo ischemia model using hippocampal slices. This effect can be observed also in a calcium free incubation solution. Striking early decreases in the NMDAR subunit mRNA levels were observed after 30 min of oxygen and glucose deprivation (OGD) as well as a partial recovery when the tissues were returned to the balanced salt solution (reperfusion-like period) for 3 h. Since OGD-induced damage has been reported to be a consequence of the increase in OGD-related glutamate release, we also analyzed NMDAR mRNA levels following increased glutamate levels in hippocampal sections in which no significant effects on NMDAR subunit mRNA levels were detected. Furthermore, we describe that the presence of MK-801 (a selective NMDAR antagonist), CNQX (a selective AMPA/kainate receptor antagonist) or their combined action in the incubation solution is able to induce a significant decrease in NMDAR expression but in these conditions the OGD does not induce further decreases in mRNA levels. We suggest that the mechanisms triggered during OGD to downregulate mRNA levels of NMDAR subunits could be the same than those induced by glutamate receptor antagonists.

Neuroscience 164:1119-1126(2009) [PubMed] [Europe PMC]

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