Early loss of the glutamate transporter splice-variant GLT-1v in rat cerebral cortex following lateral fluid-percussion injury.Glia. 2005 Jan 01; 49(1):121-33.GLIA
Glutamate transporter proteins are essential for the control of interstitial glutamate levels, with an impairment of their function or levels being a major potential contributor to excitotoxicity. We have investigated the effects of lateral fluid percussion on the levels of the glutamate transporter proteins GLT-1alpha, its splice variant GLT-1v, GLAST, and EAAC1 in the rat in order to evaluate their pathogenetic role in this model of traumatic brain injury (TBI). Immunoblot analysis revealed neuronal loss in the cerebral cortex was accompanied by a 54% decrease in GLT-1v 6 h following the insult which progressed to an 83% loss of the transporter after 24 h. No changes in GLT-1alpha, GLAST, or EAAC1 were observed in this brain region at either time point. GLT-1v content was also decreased by 55% and 68% in the hippocampus and thalamus, respectively, at 6 h post-injury, but recovered fully after 24 h in both brain regions. In contrast, levels of GLT-1alpha were increased in the hippocampus at 6 h and 24 h post-TBI. These alterations in transporter protein content were also confirmed using immunohistochemical methods. Our results show for the first time a pattern of early, dynamic changes in the levels of GLT-1 transporter splice variants in different brain regions in this trauma model. In addition, correlation of GLT-1v levels with both neuronal cell loss and alpha-internexin content in the injured cortex suggests that loss of this novel glutamate transporter may be a key factor in determining cerebral vulnerability following this type of brain injury.