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Targeting the interaction of GABAB receptors with CaMKII with an interfering peptide restores receptor expression after cerebral ischemia and inhibits progressive neuronal death in mouse brain cells and slices
- Journal Article
Cerebral ischemia is the leading cause for long-term disability and mortality in adults due to massive neuronal death. Currently, there is no pharmacological treatment available to limit progressive neuronal death after stroke. A major mechanism causing ischemia-induced neuronal death is the excessive release of glutamate and the associated overexcitation of neurons (excitotoxicity). Normally, GABA(B) receptors control neuronal excitability in the brain via prolonged inhibition. However, excitotoxic conditions rapidly downregulate GABA(B) receptors via a CaMKII-mediated mechanism and thereby diminish adequate inhibition that could counteract neuronal overexcitation and neuronal death. To prevent the deleterious downregulation of GABA(B) receptors, we developed a cell-penetrating synthetic peptide (R1-Pep) that inhibits the interaction of GABA(B) receptors with CaMKII. Administration of this peptide to cultured cortical neurons exposed to excitotoxic conditions restored cell surface expression and function of GABA(B) receptors. R1-Pep did not affect CaMKII expression or activity but prevented its T286 autophosphorylation that renders it autonomously and persistently active. Moreover, R1-Pep counteracted the aberrant downregulation of G protein-coupled inwardly rectifying K+ channels and the upregulation of N-type voltage-gated Ca2+ channels, the main effectors of GABA(B) receptors. The restoration of GABA(B) receptors activated the Akt survival pathway and inhibited excitotoxic neuronal death with a wide time window in cultured neurons. Restoration of GABA(B) receptors and neuroprotective activity of R1-Pep was verified by using brain slices prepared from mice after middle cerebral artery occlusion (MCAO). Treatment with R1-Pep restored normal GABA(B) receptor expression and GABA receptor-mediated K+ channel currents. This reduced MCAO-induced neuronal excitability and inhibited neuronal death. These results support the hypothesis that restoration of GABA(B) receptor expression under excitatory conditions provides neuroprotection and might be the basis for the development of a selective intervention to inhibit progressive neuronal death after ischemic stroke. Show more
Journal / seriesBrain Pathology
Pages / Article No.
SubjectCaMKII; cerebral ischemia; GABAB receptor; interfering peptide; neuroprotection
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