, 1994; Canton et al, 2001; Van Damme et al, 2003; Tortarolo et

, 1994; Canton et al., 2001; Van Damme et al., 2003; Tortarolo et al., 2006).

In addition, intrathecal or intraspinal administration of AMPA receptor agonists induced motor neuron degeneration (Hugon et al., 1989; Ikonomidou et al., 1996; Corona & Tapia, 2007), and inhibition of glutamate uptake resulted in motor neuron PF-01367338 order death in organotypic spinal cord cultures by overstimulation of AMPA receptors (Rothstein et al., 1993; Saroff et al., 2000). Motor neurons appear to be very sensitive to excitotoxicity for several reasons (Fig. 4). They combine the presence of a high number of calcium-permeable AMPA receptors (Carriedo et al., 1996; Van Den Bosch et al., 2000) with a low calcium-buffering capacity due to the low expression level of calcium-binding proteins (Alexianu et al., 1994). An immediate consequence of the lower amount of calcium-buffering proteins is that their mitochondria play a prominent role in calcium metabolism (Grosskreutz et al., 2010). AMPA receptors are tetramers composed of a variable association of four subunits (GluR1–4) and the calcium permeability of the receptor is determined

by the GluR2 subunit. Receptors with GluR2 have a very low calcium www.selleckchem.com/products/gsk1120212-jtp-74057.html permeability compared to GluR2-lacking receptors. The calcium impermeability of GluR2-containing AMPA receptors is explained by the presence of a positively charged arginine instead of the genetically encoded neutral glutamine. This arginine residue at the Q/R site is introduced by the editing of GluR2 pre-mRNA, a process that is virtually complete under normal conditions. Montelukast Sodium Motor neurons express low levels of the GluR2 subunit, leading to a higher calcium permeability of the AMPA receptor and an increased sensitivity to

excitotoxicity (Greig et al., 2000; Heath et al., 2002; Van Damme et al., 2002; Kawahara et al., 2003). The role of GluR2 in motor neuron degeneration appears quite important. Editing of the GluR2 mRNA has been reported to be disturbed in sporadic ALS patients (Kawahara et al., 2004), suggesting an increased calcium permeability of their AMPA receptors and thus increased vulnerability to excitotoxicity. Overexpression of an ‘uneditable’ GluR2 subunit resulted in late-onset motor neuron degeneration in the mouse (Feldmeyer et al., 1999). Deleting the GluR2-encoding gene in mutant SOD1 mice accelerated motor neuron degeneration (Van Damme et al., 2005), while providing motor neurons with extra GluR2 increased significantly the life span of the mutant SOD1 mouse model (Tateno et al., 2004). Astrocytes from the ventral spinal cord determine the expression level of the GluR2 subunit in motor neurons and thus protect the motor neuron from excitotoxicity (Van Damme et al., 2007). The presence of mutant SOD1 in astrocytes abolished this protective effect, which may contribute to the non-cell autonomous nature of mutant SOD1-induced motor neuron degeneration.

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