Neurochemistry international

Inhibitory effect of glutamate release from rat cerebrocortical synaptosomes by dextromethorphan and its metabolite 3-hydroxymorphinan.

PMID 19428798


Dextromethorphan (DM), a widely used antitussive, has demonstrated an effective neuroprotective effect. Excessive release of glutamate is considered to be an underlying cause of neuronal damage in several neurological diseases. In the present study, we investigated whether DM or its metabolite 3-hydroxymorphinan (3-HM) could affect glutamate release in rat cerebral cortex nerve terminals (synaptosomes). DM or 3-HM inhibited the Ca(2+)-dependent release of glutamate that was evoked by exposing synaptosomes to the K(+) channel blocker 4-aminopyridine (4-AP), and this presynaptic inhibition was concentration-dependent. Inhibition of glutamate release by DM or 3-HM was resulted from a reduction of vesicular exocytosis, because the vesicular transporter inhibitor bafilomycin A1 completely blocked DM or 3-HM-mediated inhibition of 4-AP-evoked glutamate release. DM or 3-HM did not alter the resting synaptosomal membrane potential or 4-AP-mediated depolarization, but significantly reduced depolarization-induced increase in [Ca(2+)](C). DM or 3-HM-mediated inhibition of 4-AP-evoked glutamate release was blocked by omega-conotoxin MVIIC, an antagonist of N- and P/Q-type Ca(2+) channel, not by dantrolene, an intracellular Ca(2+) release inhibitor. DM or 3-HM modulation of 4-AP-evoked glutamate release appeared to involve a protein kinase C (PKC) signaling cascade, insofar as pretreatment of synaptosomes with the PKC inhibitors GF109203X or Ro318220 all effectively occluded the inhibitory effect of DM or 3-HM. Furthermore, 4-AP-induced phosphorylation of PKC was reduced by DM or 3-HM. These results suggest that DM or 3-HM inhibits glutamate release from rat cortical synaptosomes through the suppression of presynaptic voltage-dependent Ca(2+) entry and PKC activity. This may explain the neuroprotective effects of DM against neurotoxicity.

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(+)-3-Hydroxymorphinan hydrobromide, neurotrophic to dopaminergic neurons
C16H21NO · HBr