Tumor necrosis factor-alpha potentiates glutamate neurotoxicity in human fetal brain cell cultures

C. C. Chao, S. Hu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

230 Scopus citations

Abstract

Cytokines may play a pathogenetic role in the brain. Using human fetal brain cell cultures, we investigated whether cytokines released during inflammation modulate neuronal injury. Exposure of human fetal neuronal cells to the excitatory amino acid neurotransmitter, glutamate, for 6 days resulted in a dose-dependent cell loss. Tumor necrosis factor (TNF)-α potentiated glutamate neurotoxicity. This TNFα-potentiated glutamate neurotoxicity was blocked by the glutamate receptor antagonists, 2-APV and MK-801, suggesting that the potentiating effect of TNFα is predominantly mediated by a glutamate receptor mechanism. Exposure of neuronal cultures to TNFα for 5 days resulted in a 27% decrease in astrocyte glutamine synthetase and in a 50% inhibition of 3H-glutamate uptake, suggesting that the effect of TNFα indirectly involves glutamate metabolism. These findings suggest that under pathologic conditions, TNFα may impair embryonic development of the brain by exacerbating excitotoxicity.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)172-179
Number of pages8
JournalDevelopmental Neuroscience
Volume16
Issue number3-4
DOIs
StatePublished - 1994

Keywords

  • Excitotoxicity
  • Glutamate uptake
  • Glutamine synthetase
  • Neuronal development
  • Tumor necrosis factor-alpha

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