Expression of SOD1 G93A or wild-type SOD1 in primary cultures of astrocytes down-regulates the glutamate transporter GLT-1: Lack of involvement of oxidative stress

Massimo Tortarolo, Andrew J. Crossthwaite, Laura Conforti, Jeremy P. Spencer, Robert J. Williams, Caterina Bendotti, Marcus Rattray

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Glutamate excitotoxicity is implicated in the aetiology of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) with impairment of glutamate transport into astrocytes a possible cause of glutamate-induced injury to motor neurons. It is possible that mutations of Cu/Zn superoxide dismutase (SOD1), responsible for about 20% of familial ALS, down-regulates glutamate transporters via oxidative stress. We transfected primary mouse astrocytes to investigate the effect of the FALS-linked mutant hSOD1G93A and wild-type SOD1 (hSOD1wt) on the glutamate uptake system. Using western blotting, immunocytochemistry and RT-PCR it was shown that expression of either hSOD1G93A or hSOD1 wt in astrocytes produced down-regulation of the levels of a glutamate transporter GLT-1, without alterations in its mRNA level. hSOD1 G93A or hSOD1wt expression caused a decrease of the monomeric form of GLT-1 without increasing oxidative multimers of GLT-1. The effects were selective to GLT-1, since another glutamate transporter GLAST protein and mRNA levels were not altered. Reflecting the decrease in GLT-1 protein, [3H]D-aspartate uptake was reduced in cultures expressing hSOD1G93A or hSOD1wt. The hSOD1-induced decline in GLT-1 protein and [3H]D-aspartate uptake was not blocked by the antioxidant Trolox nor potentiated by antioxidant depletion using catalase and glutathione peroxidase inhibitors. Measurement of 2′,7′ -dichlorofluorescein (DCF)-induced fluorescence revealed that expression of hSOD1G93A or hSOD1wt in astrocytes does not lead to detectable increase of intracellular reactive oxygen species. This study suggests that levels of GLT-1 protein in astrocytes are reduced rapidly by overexpression of hSOD1, and is due to a property shared between the wild-type and G93A mutant form, but does not involve the production of intracellular oxidative stress.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)481-493
Number of pages13
JournalJournal of Neurochemistry
Volume88
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2004

Keywords

  • Excitatory amino acid transporter 1
  • Excitatory amino acid transporter 2
  • Glutamate aspartate transporter
  • Glutamate transporter
  • Motor neuron disease
  • Superoxide dismutase

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience

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