Haydon, Philip G
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PublicationEnhanced Astrocytic Ca2+ Signals Contribute to Neuronal Excitotoxicity after Status Epilepticus(2007-10-03) Ding, Shinghua; Fellin, Tommaso; Zhu, Yingzi; Meaney, David F; Lee, So-Young; Coulter, Douglas A; Auberson, Yves P; Haydon, Philip G; Carmignoto, GiorgioStatus epilepticus (SE), an unremitting seizure, is known to cause a variety of traumatic responses including delayed neuronal death and later cognitive decline. Although excitotoxicity has been implicated in this delayed process, the cellular mechanisms are unclear. Because our previous brain slice studies have shown that chemically induced epileptiform activity can lead to elevated astrocytic Ca2+ signaling and because these signals are able to induce the release of the excitotoxic transmitter glutamate from these glia, we asked whether astrocytes are activated during status epilepticus and whether they contribute to delayed neuronal death in vivo. Using two-photon microscopy in vivo, we show that status epilepticus enhances astrocytic Ca2+ signals for 3 d and that the period of elevated glial Ca2+ signaling is correlated with the period of delayed neuronal death. To ask whether astrocytes contribute to delayed neuronal death, we first administered antagonists which inhibit gliotransmission: MPEP [2-methyl-6-(phenylethynyl)pyridine], a metabotropic glutamate receptor 5 antagonist that blocks astrocytic Ca2+ signals in vivo, and ifenprodil, an NMDA receptor antagonist that reduces the actions of glial-derived glutamate. Administration of these antagonists after SE provided significant neuronal protection raising the potential for a glial contribution to neuronal death. To test this glial hypothesis directly, we loaded Ca2+ chelators selectively into astrocytes after status epilepticus.We demonstrate that the selective attenuation of glial Ca2+ signals leads to neuronal protection. These observations support neurotoxic roles for astrocytic gliotransmission in pathological conditions and identify this process as a novel therapeutic target. PublicationmGluR5 stimulates gliotransmission in the nucleus accumbens.(2007-02-06) Revilla-Sanchez, Raquel; D'Ascenzo, Marcello; Meaney, David F; Fellin, Tommaso; Terunuma, Miho; Moss, Stephen J; Haydon, Philip G; Auberson, Yves PAlthough metabotropic glutamate receptor 5 (mGluR5) is essential for cocaine self-administration and drug-seeking behavior, there is limited knowledge of the cellular actions of this receptor in the nucleus accumbens (NAc). Although mGluR5 has the potential to regulate neurons directly, recent studies have shown the importance of mGluR5 in regulating Ca(2+) signaling in astrocytes and, as a consequence, the Ca(2+)-dependent release of excitatory transmitters from these glia. In this study, we demonstrate that activation of mGluR5 induces Ca(2+) oscillations in NAc astrocytes with the correlated appearance of NMDA receptor-dependent slow inward currents detected in medium spiny neurons (MSNs). Photolysis of caged Ca(2+) loaded specifically into astrocytes evoked slow inward currents demonstrating that Ca(2+) elevations in astrocytes are responsible for these excitatory events. Pharmacological evaluation of these glial-evoked NMDA currents shows that they are mediated by NR2B-containing NMDA receptors, whereas synaptic NMDA receptors rely on NR2A-containing receptors. Stimulation of glutamatergic afferents activates mGluR5-dependent astrocytic Ca(2+) oscillations and gliotransmission that is sustained for minutes beyond the initial stimulus. Because gliotransmission is mediated by NMDA receptors, depolarized membrane potentials exhibited during up-states augment excitation provided by gliotransmission, which drives bursts of MSN action potentials. Because the predominant mGluR5-dependent action of glutamatergic afferents is to cause the sustained activation of astrocytes, which in turn excite MSNs through extrasynaptic NMDA receptors, our results raise the potential for gliotransmission being involved in prolonged mGluR5-dependent adaptation in the NAc.