Many cellular events are involved in ischemic neuronal death, and it has been difficult to identify those that play a critical role in the cascade triggered by lack of oxygen and glucose, although it has been widely recognized that overactivation of glutamate receptors represents one of the initiating factors. Different glutamate receptor antagonists, especially those for N-methyl-d-aspartate (NMDA) receptors, have achieved significant success in animal models of hypoxia/ischemia; however, these antagonists have failed in clinical trials. We previously reported that calpain-mediated truncation of metabotropic glutamate receptor 1α (mGluR1α) played a critical role in excitotoxicity, and that a TAT-mGluR1 peptide consisting of a peptide surrounding the calpain cleavage site of mGluR1α and the peptide transduction domain of the transactivating regulatory protein (TAT) of HIV was neuroprotective against excitotoxicity. In the present study we tested the effect of this peptide in in vitro and in vivo models of neonatal hypoxia/ischemia. TAT-mGluR1 peptide prevented oxygen/glucose deprivation- (OGD) and hypoxia/ischemia- (H/I) induced neuronal death in cultured hippocampal slices and neonatal rats, respectively. TAT-mGluR1 blocked H/I-induced mGluR1α degradation but had no effect on H/I-induced spectrin degradation, suggesting that neuroprotection was due to prevention of calpain-mediated mGluR1α truncation and not to calpain inhibition. Our results therefore suggest that mGluR1α truncation plays a critical role in neonatal hypoxia/ischemia and that blockade of this event may prevent the activation of many downstream cytotoxic cascades. Compared to glutamate receptor antagonists and general calpain inhibitors, TAT-mGluR1 may have limited side effects.
- Metabotropic glutamate receptors
- Oxygen/glucose deprivation
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Developmental Neuroscience