α2-Adrenergic modulation of the glutamate receptor and transporter function in a chronic ocular hypertension model.
Published on Oct 15, 2015in European Journal of Pharmacology4.432
· DOI :10.1016/J.EJPHAR.2015.08.035
Excitotoxicity, glutamate-induced toxic effects to retinal ganglion cells (RGCs), is one of several mechanisms of RGC loss suggested in glaucoma. In this study, we focused on the role of glutamate transporter of glial cells as well as N-methyl-d-aspartate (NMDA) receptor with regard to glutamate toxicity in glaucoma. We also investigated whether α2-adrenoceptor activation could modulate glutamate transporters and NMDA receptors in a chronic ocular hypertension model. Brimonidine 0.15% was administered topically to the eyes of experimental glaucoma and control animals twice daily. After 8 weeks of intraocular pressure (IOP) elevation, staining with terminal deoxynucleotidyl transferase-mediated dUTP nick-end labeling (TUNEL) revealed an increase in the ganglion cell layer, and the number of TUNEL-positive cells was reduced by brimonidine treatment (P<0.05). Animals with experimentally induced glaucoma exhibited an increase in retinal stress marker glial fibrillary acidic protein (GFAP) immunoreactivity; brimonidine treatment reduced GFAP. Excitatory amino acid transporter 1(EAAT1) expression remained stable throughout the period of chronic ocular hypertension. α2-Adrenergic treatment upregulated EAAT1 protein levels (P<0.05). NMDA receptor (GluN1) expression was stimulated by chronic elevation of IOP, and GluN1-positive cells in ganglion cell layer were co-localized with TUNEL staining. Brimonidine administration suppressed GluN1 levels (P<0.05). These results indicate that brimonidine decreased RGC apoptosis, upregulating EAAT1 and downregulating NMDA receptors. We suggest that topical brimonidine treatment may decrease the glutamate excitotoxicity through modulation of glutamate transporter and NMDA receptor in glaucoma.