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      Glucocorticoid Regulation of GLT-1 Glutamate Transporter Isoform Expression in the Rat Hippocampus

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          Background: In the rat hippocampus, the predominate glutamate transporters are GLT-1 and its recently identified isoform, GLT-1b. Chronic restraint stress increases GLT-1b expression throughout the hippocampus while more selectively increasing GLT-1 expression in the CA3 region. These studies suggest that GLT-1b expression is regulated by stress levels of glucocorticoids (GCs) and GLT-1 expression is regulated by stress-induced increases in extracellular glutamate levels in the CA3 region. Methods: In order to differentiate between the actions of GCs and glutamate, we examined GLT-1 isoform expression in adrenalectomized (ADX) rats and rats exposed to stress levels of GCs. Results: ADX rats revealed no significant differences in GLT-1b mRNA or protein levels compared to sham-operated controls or ADX rats given GC replacement. However, rats exposed to stress levels of GCs exhibited increases in GLT-1b protein expression in the CA3 region and the dentate gyrus. GLT-1 mRNA expression was increased by ADX, increases that were inhibited by GC replacement. Similarly, stress levels of GCs increased GLT-1 protein expression throughout the hippocampus. Conclusions: Taken together, these data indicate that GLT-1b protein expression is regulated by stress levels of GCs while the regulation of GLT-1 mRNA and protein expression provides another example of the biphasic actions of GCs in the central nervous system.

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          Most cited references 16

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          Stress and hippocampal plasticity.

           B McEwen (1998)
          The hippocampus is a target of stress hormones, and it is an especially plastic and vulnerable region of the brain. It also responds to gonadal, thyroid, and adrenal hormones, which modulate changes in synapse formation and dendritic structure and regulate dentate gyrus volume during development and in adult life. Two forms of structural plasticity are affected by stress: Repeated stress causes atrophy of dendrites in the CA3 region, and both acute and chronic stress suppresses neurogenesis of dentate gyrus granule neurons. Besides glucocorticoids, excitatory amino acids and N-methyl-D-aspartate (NMDA) receptors are involved in these two forms of plasticity as well as in neuronal death that is caused in pyramidal neurons by seizures and by ischemia. The two forms of hippocampal structural plasticity are relevant to the human hippocampus, which undergoes a selective atrophy in a number of disorders, accompanied by deficits in declarative episodic, spatial, and contextual memory performance. It is important, from a therapeutic standpoint, to distinguish between a permanent loss of cells and a reversible atrophy.
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            Localization of neuronal and glial glutamate transporters.

            The cellular and subcellular distributions of the glutamate transporter subtypes EAAC1, GLT-1, and GLAST in the rat CNS were demonstrated using anti-peptide antibodies that recognize the C-terminal domains of each transporter. On immunoblots, the antibodies specifically recognize proteins of 65-73 kDa in total brain homogenates. Immunocytochemistry shows that glutamate transporter subtypes are distributed differentially within neurons and astroglia. EAAC1 is specific for certain neurons, such as large pyramidal cortical neurons and Purkinje cells, but does not appear to be selective for glutamatergic neurons. GLT-1 is localized only to astroglia. GLAST is found in both neurons and astroglia. The regional localizations are unique to each transporter subtype. EAAC1 is highly enriched in the cortex, hippocampus, and caudate-putamen and is confined to pre- and postsynaptic elements. GLT-1 is distributed in astrocytes throughout the brain and spinal cord. GLAST is most abundant in Bergmann glia in the cerebellar molecular layer brain, but is also present in the cortex, hippocampus, and deep cerebellar nuclei.
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              Fluoro-Jade B: a high affinity fluorescent marker for the localization of neuronal degeneration.

              Fluoro-Jade B, like its predecessor Fluoro-Jade, is an anionic fluorescein derivative useful for the histological staining of neurons undergoing degeneration. However, Fluoro-Jade B has an even greater specific affinity for degenerating neurons. This notion is supported by the conspicuous staining of degenerating neuronal elements with minimal background staining. This improved signal-to-noise ratio means that fine neuronal processes including distal dendrites, axons and axon terminals can be more readily detected and documented. Although the staining time and dye concentration are reduced, the method is as rapid, simple and reliable as the original Fluoro-Jade technique. Like Fluoro-Jade, Fluoro-Jade B is compatible with a number of other labeling procedures including immunofluorescent and fluorescent Nissl techniques.

                Author and article information

                S. Karger AG
                October 2006
                13 November 2006
                : 83
                : 5-6
                : 371-379
                aDepartment of Pharmacology, Physiology and Neuroscience, School of Medicine, University of South Carolina, Columbia, S.C., bDepartment of Neurology and Neuroscience, Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, Md., and cHarold and Margaret Milliken Hatch Laboratory of Neuroendocrinology, Rockefeller University, New York, N.Y., USA
                96092 Neuroendocrinology 2006;83:371–379
                © 2006 S. Karger AG, Basel

                Copyright: All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be translated into other languages, reproduced or utilized in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying, recording, microcopying, or by any information storage and retrieval system, without permission in writing from the publisher. Drug Dosage: The authors and the publisher have exerted every effort to ensure that drug selection and dosage set forth in this text are in accord with current recommendations and practice at the time of publication. However, in view of ongoing research, changes in government regulations, and the constant flow of information relating to drug therapy and drug reactions, the reader is urged to check the package insert for each drug for any changes in indications and dosage and for added warnings and precautions. This is particularly important when the recommended agent is a new and/or infrequently employed drug. Disclaimer: The statements, opinions and data contained in this publication are solely those of the individual authors and contributors and not of the publishers and the editor(s). The appearance of advertisements or/and product references in the publication is not a warranty, endorsement, or approval of the products or services advertised or of their effectiveness, quality or safety. The publisher and the editor(s) disclaim responsibility for any injury to persons or property resulting from any ideas, methods, instructions or products referred to in the content or advertisements.

                Page count
                Figures: 10, Tables: 1, References: 24, Pages: 9
                Original Paper


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