Metabotropic Pathways

James Teo james at teoth.fsnet.co.uk
Mon Jan 21 13:40:25 EST 2002

> I am studying mGluRs in the neocortex at the moment.  Out of interest,
> how did you isolate the glial cell functions?  Did you culture glia or
> somehow differentiate the effects of the (ant)agonists on neurones and
> glia?  

I cultured them and confirmed they were glia with immunostaining for
GFAP. It isn't a perfect model I know, but as you know it is
impossible to differentiate between neuron and glia pathways in a
mixed culture.

>I'm just asking since if it was a simple technique I might be
>able to employ it! :)  Did you publish your results?

I only got an abstract from it (Proceedings of the British
Pharmacological Society; Aug 1999; Teo, Meller & Sharp). If you want,
I will dig up my abstract or even my dissertation from my old hard
disk and send it on to you.

The technique I used was HPLC for glutamate, aspartate and other amino
acids after incubating them in various pharmacological agents. Other
studies have concentrated imaging them with calcium-chelating dyes,
but I found that technically difficult. (Hey, medics are crap
scientists, don't you know?). My lab supervisor has also reproduced
the results with the 5HT1A receptor, but this is again unpublished
results (abstracts only).

> ps, is that the correct name of the author you cited, can't seem to
> find any references on medline?

Okay, I can't remember his exact name as I don't have my old reference
at hand, but if you want I will dig it up together with the abstract.
I have dug up some references:

1) Tripartite synapses: glia, the unacknowledged partner.
Araque A, Parpura V, Sanzgiri RP, Haydon PG.
Trends Neurosci 1999 May;22(5):208-15

2) Glia: listening and talking to the synapse.
Haydon PG.
Nature Rev Neurosci 2001 Mar;2(3):185-93

3) Calcium elevation in astrocytes causes an NMDA receptor-dependent
increase in the frequency of miniature synaptic currents in cultured
hippocampal neurons.
Araque A, Sanzgiri RP, Parpura V, Haydon PG.
Journal of Neuroscience 1998 Sep 1;18(17):6822-9

4) Glutamate-dependent astrocyte modulation of synaptic transmission
between cultured hippocampal neurons.
Araque A, Parpura V, Sanzgiri RP, Haydon PG
European Journal of Neuroscience 1998 Jun;10(6):2129-42

The first two are good reviews, the last two are important references
I used when I was actually doing the project (1998-1999)

BTW, if you are going to study those glutamate receptors, let me know
what you dig up as I couldn't pursue my project to my maximum
satisfaction as in 1999, there weren't any mGluR5-specific stuff, so
my results was a matter of elimination ("it wasn't mGluR1, mGluR2-4,
kainate, NMDA receptors, so it can only be mGluR5") rather than any
positive proof.

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