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J Neurosci Res. 1998 Dec 15;54(6):814-9.

Expression of glutamate receptors on cultured cerebral endothelial cells.

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Laboratory of Molecular Neurobiology, Institute of Biophysics, Biological Research Center of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences, Szeged.


Activation of glutamate receptors has been shown to mediate a large number of neuronal processes such as long-term potentiation and ischemic damage. In addition to neurons and glia, glutamate receptors may occur on cerebral endothelial cells (CECs). The aim of the present study was to determine which glutamate receptors are expressed in CECs and to demonstrate the functional presence of such channels. By using reverse transcriptase-polymerase chain reaction, we showed that primary cultures of rat CECs express N-methyl-D-aspartate (NMDA) receptors (NR1 subunit, which is necessary for the formation of functional NMDA receptors, and NR2A-C subunits), 2-amino-3-(3-hydroxy-5-methyl-4-isoxazolyl-propionate (AMPA) receptors (GLUR1-4 subunits), and metabotropic receptors (mGLUR). Exposure of the cultures to 2 mM glutamate, a well-established mediator of ischemic damage, for 30 min increased significantly the phosphorylation of calcium/calmodulin-dependent protein kinase II even after 10- and 60-min recovery times. This effect could be prevented by the NMDA blocker MK-801. The presence of multiple glutamate receptor types may confer a finely tuned responsiveness of the cerebral endothelium to glutamate in physiological and pathological conditions.

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