Stem cells and development

Activation of Type 4 Metabotropic Glutamate Receptor Attenuates Oxidative Stress-Induced Death of Neural Stem Cells with Inhibition of JNK and p38 MAPK Signaling.

PMID 26176363


Promoting both endogenous and exogenous neural stem cells' (NSCs) survival in the hostile host environments is essential to cell replacement therapy for central nervous system (CNS) disorders. Type 4 metabotropic glutamate receptor (mGluR4), one of the members of mGluRs, has been shown to protect neurons from acute and chronic excitotoxic insults in various brain damages. The present study investigated the preventive effects of mGluR4 on NSC injury induced by oxidative stress. Under challenge with H2O2, loss of cell viability was observed in cultured rat NSCs, and treatment with selective mGluR4 agonist VU0155041 conferred protective effects against the loss of cellular viability in a concentration-dependent manner, as shown by 3-(4,5-dimethylthiazol-2-yl)-2,5-diphenyl tetrazolium bromide (MTT) assay. Pretreatment of VU0155041 (30 μM) also inhibited the excessive NSC death induced by H2O2, and group III mGluRs antagonist (RS)-a-methylserine-O-phosphate (MSOP) or gene-targeted knockdown abolished the protective action of mGluR4, indicated by propidium iodide-Hoechst and terminal deoxynucleotidyl transferase-mediated UTP nick end labeling (TUNEL) staining. Western blot assay demonstrated that mGluR4 activation reversed the decreased procaspase-8/9/3and the destructed Bcl-2/Bax expressing balance, and likewise, MSOP and mGluR4 knockdown abrogated the action of mGluR4 activity. Furthermore, inhibition of JNK and p38 mitogen-activated protein kinases (MAPKs) were observed after mGluR4 activation, and as paralleling control, JNK-specific inhibitor SP600125 and p38-specific inhibitor SB203580 significantly rescued the H2O2-mediated NSC apoptosis and cleavage of procaspase-3. We suggest that activation of mGluR4 prevents oxidative stress-induced NSC death and apoptotic-associated protein activities with involvement of inhibiting the JNK and p38 pathways in cell culture. Our findings may help to develop strategies for enhancing the resided and transplanted NSC survival after oxidative stress insult of CNS.