Genetic deletion of mGlu2 metabotropic glutamate receptors improves the short-term outcome of cerebral transient focal ischemia

Federica Mastroiacovo, Slavianka Moyanova, Milena Cannella, Anderson Gaglione, Remy Verhaeghe, Giovanna Bozza, Michele Madonna, Marta Motolese, Anna Traficante, Barbara Riozzi, Valeria Bruno, Giuseppe Battaglia, David Lodge, Ferdinando Nicoletti*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (Academic Journal)peer-review

6 Citations (Scopus)
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We have recently shown that pharmacological blockade of mGlu2 metabotropic glutamate receptors protects vulnerable neurons in the 4-vessel occlusion model of transient global ischemia, whereas receptor activation amplifies neuronal death. This raised the possibility that endogenous activation of mGlu2 receptors contributes to the pathophysiology of ischemic neuronal damage. Here, we examined this possibility using two models of transient focal ischemia: (i) the monofilament model of middle cerebral artery occlusion (MCAO) in mice, and (ii) the model based on intracerebral infusion of endothelin-1 (Et-1) in rats. Following transient MCAO, mGlu2 receptor knockout mice showed a significant reduction in infarct volume and an improved short-term behavioural outcome, as assessed by a neurological disability scale and the "grip test". Following Et-1 infusion, Grm2 gene mutated Hannover Wistar rats lacking mGlu2 receptors did not show changes in the overall infarct volume as compared to their wild-type counterparts, although they showed a reduced infarct area in the agranular insular cortex. Interestingly, however, mGlu2 receptor-deficient rats performed better than wild-type rats in the adhesive tape test, in which these rats did not show the laterality preference typically observed after focal ischemia. These findings support the hypothesis that activation of mGlu2 receptors is detrimental in the post-ischemic phase, and support the use of mGlu2 receptor antagonists in the experimental treatment of brain ischemia.

Original languageEnglish
Article number39
JournalMolecular Brain
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 18 Aug 2017


  • Focal ischemia
  • Genetic deletion
  • mGlu2 receptor
  • Neurological score
  • Neuroprotection

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