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Yoshizumi, Masaru; Eisenach, James. C.; Hayashida, Ken-ichiro (2011)
Languages: English
Types: Article
Subjects: Article
Identifiers:pmc:PMC3268950
We have recently demonstrated that the glutamate transporter activator riluzole paradoxically enhanced glutamate-induced glutamate release from cultured astrocytes. We further showed that both riluzole and the α2δ subunit ligand gabapentin activated descending inhibition in rats by increasing glutamate receptor signaling in the locus coeruleus and hypothesized that these drugs share common mechanisms to enhance glutamate release from astrocytes. In the present study, we examined the effects of riluzole and gabapentin on glutamate uptake and release and glutamate-induced Ca2+ responses in primary cultures of astrocytes. Riluzole and gabapentin facilitated glutamate-induced glutamate release from astrocytes and significantly increased glutamate uptake, the latter being completely blocked by the non-selective glutamate transporter blocker DL-threo-β-benzyloxyaspartic acid (DL-TBOA). Riluzole and gabapentin also enhanced the glutamate-induced increase in intracellular Ca2+ concentrations. Some α2δ subunit ligands, pregabalin and L-isoleucine, enhanced the glutamate-induced Ca2+ response, whereas another, 3-exo-aminobicyclo[2.2.1]heptane-2-exo-carboxylic acid (ABHCA), did not. The enhancement of glutamate-induced intracellular Ca2+ response by riluzole and gabapentin was blocked by the DL-TBOA and an inhibitor of Na+/Ca2+ exchange, 2-[2-[4-(4-nitrobenzyloxy)phenyl]ethyl]isothiurea (KB-R7943). Gabapentin’s enhancement of Ca2+ increase was specific to glutamate stimulation, as it was not mimicked with stimulation by ATP. These results suggest that riluzole and gabapentin enhance Na+-glutamate co-transport through glutamate transporters, induce subsequent Ca2+ influx via the reverse mode of Na+/Ca2+ exchange, and thereby facilitate Ca2+-dependent glutamate release by glutamate in astrocytes. The present study also demonstrates a novel target of gabapentinoid action in astrocytes other than α2δ subunits in neurons.
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