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In vivo and in vitro effects of multiple sclerosis immunomodulatory therapeutics on glutamatergic excitotoxicity

Authors

  • D. Luchtman
  • R. Gollan
  • E. Ellwardt
  • J. Birkenstock
  • K. Robohm
  • V. Siffrin
  • F. Zipp

Journal

  • Journal of Neurochemistry

Citation

  • J Neurochem 136 (5): 971-980

Abstract

  • In multiple sclerosis (MS), a candidate downstream mechanism for neuronal injury is glutamate (Glu)-induced excitotoxicity, leading to toxic increases in intra-neuronal Ca(2+) . Here, we used in vivo two-photon imaging in the brain of TN-XXL transgenic Ca(2+) reporter mice to test whether promising oral MS therapeutics, namely fingolimod (FTY720), dimethyl fumarate (DMF), and their respective metabolites FTY720-Phosphate (-P) and monomethyl fumarate (MMF), can protect neurons against acute glutamatergic excitotoxic damage. We also assessed whether these drugs can protect against excitotoxicity in vitro using primary cortical neurons, and whether they can directly inhibit Glu release from pathogenic Th17 lymphocytes. In vivo, direct and acute (1 hour) administration of 100 mM Glu to the brain stem resulted in a rapid and significant upregulation in neuronal Ca(2+) signaling as well as morphological excitotoxic changes that were attenuated by the NMDA-receptor antagonist MK801. Direct CNS administration of MS drugs prior to Glu significantly delayed or reduced but did not prevent the neuronal Ca(2+) increase or morphological changes. In vitro, prolonged (24 hours) treatment of primary neurons with the fumarates significantly protected against neurotoxicity induced by Glu as well as NMDA, similar to MK801. Furthermore, MMF significantly reduced Glu release from pathogenic Th17 lymphocytes. Overall, these data suggest that MS drugs may mediate neuroprotection via excitotoxicity-modulating effects.


DOI

doi:10.1111/jnc.13456