Increased expression of glutamate transporter GLT-1 in peritumoral tissue associated with prolonged survival and decreases in tumor growth in a rat model of experimental malignant glioma Laboratory investigation
ABSTRACT Object Gliomas are known to release excessive amounts of glutamate, inducing glutamate excitotoxic cell death in the peritumoral region and allowing the tumor to grow and to expand. Glutamate transporter upregulation has been shown to be neuroprotective by removing extracellular glutamate in a number of preclinical animal models of neurodegenerative diseases, including amyotrophic lateral sclerosis and Parkinson disease as well as psychiatric disorders such as depression. The authors therefore hypothesized that the protective mechanism of glutamate transporter upregulation would be useful for the treatment of gliomas as well. Methods In this study 9L gliosarcoma cells were treated with a glutamate transporter upregulating agent, thiamphenicol, an antibiotic approved in Europe, which has been shown previously to increase glutamate transporter expression and has recently been validated in a human Phase I biomarker trial for glutamate transporter upregulation. Cells were monitored in vitro for glutamate transporter levels and cell proliferation. In vivo, rats were injected intracranially with 9L cells and were treated with increasing doses of thiamphenicol. Animals were monitored for survival. In addition, postmortem brain tissue was analyzed for tumor size, glutamate transporter levels, and neuron count. Results Thiamphenicol showed little effects on proliferation of 9L gliosarcoma cells in vitro and did not change glutamate transporter levels in these cells. However, when delivered locally in an experimental glioma model in rats, thiamphenicol dose dependently (10-5000 μM) significantly increased survival up to 7 days and concomitantly decreased tumor size from 46.2 mm(2) to 10.2 mm(2) when compared with lesions in nontreated controls. Furthermore, immunohistochemical and biochemical analysis of peritumoral tissue confirmed an 84% increase in levels of glutamate transporter protein and a 72% increase in the number of neuronal cells in the tissue adjacent to the tumor. Conclusions These results show that increasing glutamate transporter expression in peritumoral tissue is neuroprotective. It suggests that glutamate transporter upregulation for the treatment of gliomas should be further investigated and potentially be part of a combination therapy with standard chemotherapeutic agents.
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ABSTRACT: Malignant gliomas are relentless tumors that offer a dismal clinical prognosis. They develop many biological advantages that allow them to grow and survive in the unique environment of the brain. The glutamate transporters system x c (-) and excitatory amino acid transporters (EAAT) are emerging as key players in the biology and malignancy of these tumors. Gliomas manipulate glutamate transporter expression and function to alter glutamate homeostasis in the brain, which supports their own growth, invasion, and survival. As a consequence, malignant cells are able to quickly destroy and invade surrounding normal brain. Recent findings are painting a larger picture of these transporters in glioma biology, and as such are providing opportunities for clinical intervention for patients. This review will detail the current understanding of glutamate transporters in the biology of malignant gliomas and highlight some of the unique aspects of these tumors that make them so devastating and difficult to treat.Cellular and Molecular Life Sciences CMLS 11/2013; DOI:10.1007/s00018-013-1521-z · 5.86 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Glioma glutamate release has been shown to promote the growth of glioma cells and induce neuronal injuries from epilepsy to neuronal death. However, potential counteractions from normal astrocytes against glioma glutamate release have not been fully evaluated. In this study, we investigated the glutamate/glutamine cycling between glioma cells and astrocytes and their impact on neuronal function. Co-cultures of glioma cells with astrocytes (CGA) in direct contact were established under different mix ratio of astrocyte/glioma. Culture medium conditioned in these CGAs were sampled for HPLC measurement, for neuronal ratiometric calcium imaging, and for neuronal survival assay. We found: (1) High levels of glutaminase expression in glioma cells, but not in astrocytes, glutaminase enables glioma cells to release large amount of glutamate in the presence of glutamine. (2) Glutamate levels in CGAs were directly determined by the astrocyte/glioma ratios. Indicating a balance between glioma glutamate release and astrocyte glutamate uptake. (3) Culture media from CGAs of higher glioma/astrocyte ratios induced stronger neuronal Ca(2+) response and more severe neuronal death. (4) Co-culturing with astrocytes significantly reduced the growth rate of glioma cells. These results indicate that normal astrocytes in the brain play pivotal roles in glioma growth inhibition and in reducing neuronal injuries from glioma glutamate release. However, as tumor growth, the protective role of astrocytes gradually succumb to glioma cells.Biochemical and Biophysical Research Communications 06/2014; 450(1). DOI:10.1016/j.bbrc.2014.05.120 · 2.28 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: L- Glutamate is the predominant excitatory neurotransmitter in the central nervous system (CNS) and directly and indirectly involved in variety of brain functions. Glutamate is released in the synaptic cleft at a particular concentration that further activates the various glutaminergic receptors. This concentration of glutamate in the synapse is maintained by either glutamine synthetase or by the excitatory amino acid proteins which reuptakes the excessive glutamate from the synapse named as Excitatory amino acid transporters (EAATs). Out of all the subtypes GLT-1 (Glutamate transporter1) is abundantly distributed in the CNS. Down-regulation of GLT-1 is reported in various neurological diseases such as, Epilepsy, Stroke, Alzheimer's disease and movement disorders etc. Therefore, positive modulators of GLT-1 which up-regulates the GLT-1 expression can serve as a potential target for the treatment of neurological disorders. GLT-1 translational activators such as ceftriaxone are found to have significant protective effects in ALS and epilepsy animal models, suggesting that this translational activation approach works well in rodents and that these compounds are worth further pursuit for various neurological disorders. Even, this drug is currently in human clinical trials for ALS. In addition, a thorough understanding of the mechanisms underlying translational regulation of GLT-1, such as identifying the molecular targets of the compounds, signaling pathways involved in the regulation, and translational activation processes, are very important for this novel drug-development effort. This review mainly emphasizes the role of glutamate and its transporter, GLT-1 subtype in excitotoxicity. Further, recent reports on GLT-1 transporters for the treatment of various neurological diseases, including a summary of the presumed physiologic mechanisms behind the pharmacology of these disorders are also explained.Pharmacology Biochemistry and Behavior 10/2014; 127. DOI:10.1016/j.pbb.2014.10.001 · 2.82 Impact Factor