Selective increases of AMPA, NMDA, and kainate receptor subunit mRNAs in the hippocampus and orbitofrontal cortex but not in prefrontal cortex of human alcoholics
2014 (English)In: Frontiers in Cellular Neuroscience, ISSN 1662-5102, Vol. 8, 11- p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Glutamate is the main excitatory transmitter in the human brain. Drugs that affect the glutamatergic signaling will alter neuronal excitability. Ethanol inhibits glutamate receptors. We examined the expression level of glutamate receptor subunit mRNAs in human post-mortem samples from alcoholics and compared the results to brain samples from control subjects. RNA from hippocampal dentate gyrus (HP-DG), orbitofrontal cortex (OFC), and dorso-lateral prefrontal cortex (DL-PFC) samples from 21 controls and 19 individuals with chronic alcohol dependence were included in the study. Total RNA was assayed using quantitative RT-PCR. Out of the 16 glutamate receptor subunits, mRNAs encoding two AMPA [2-amino-3-(3-hydroxy-5-methyl-isoxazol-4-yl)propanoic acid] receptor subunits GluA2 and GluA3; three kainate receptor subunits GluK2, GluK3 and GluK5 and five NMDA (N-methyl-D-aspartate) receptor subunits GluN1, GluN2A, GluN2C, GluN2D, and GluN3A were significantly increased in the HP-DG region in alcoholics. In the OFC, mRNA encoding the NMDA receptor subunit GluN3A was increased, whereas in the DL-PFC, no differences in mRNA levels were observed. Our laboratory has previously shown that the expression of genes encoding inhibitory GABA-A receptors is altered in the HP-DG and OFC of alcoholics (Jin et al., 2011). Whether the changes in one neurotransmitter system drives changes in the other or if they change independently is currently not known. The results demonstrate that excessive long-term alcohol consumption is associated with altered expression of genes encoding glutamate receptors in a brain region-specific manner. It is an intriguing possibility that genetic predisposition to alcoholism may contribute to these gene expression changes.
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2014. Vol. 8, 11- p.
IdentifiersURN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-219489DOI: 10.3389/fncel.2014.00011ISI: 000331053400001PubMedID: 24523671OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-219489DiVA: diva2:699979