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Kappa opioid receptor activation blocks progressive neurodegeneration after kainic acid injection


Abstract We recently demonstrated that endogenous prodynorphin-derived peptides mediate anticonvulsant, antiepileptogenic and neuroprotective effects via kappa opioid receptors (KOP). Here we show acute and delayed neurodegeneration and its pharmacology after local kainic acid injection in prodynorphin knockout and wild-type mice and neuroprotective effect(s) of KOP activation in wild-type mice. Prodynorphin knockout and wild-type mice were injected with kainic acid (3 nmoles in 50 nl saline) into the stratum radiatum of CA1 of the right dorsal hippocampus. Knockout mice displayed significantly more neurodegeneration of pyramidal cells and interneurons than wild-type mice 2 days after treatment. This phenotype could be mimicked in wild-type animals by treatment with the KOP antagonist GNTI and rescued in knockout animals by the KOP agonist U-50488. Minor differences in neurodegeneration remained 3 weeks after treatment, mostly because of higher progressive neurodegeneration in wild-type mice compared with prodynorphin-deficient animals. In wild-type mice progressive neurodegeneration, but not acute neuronal loss, could be mostly blocked by U-50488 treatment. Our data suggest that endogenous prodynorphin-derived peptides sufficiently activate KOP receptors during acute seizures, and importantly in situations of reduced dynorphinergic signaling?like in epilepsy?the exogenous activation of KOP receptors might also have strong neuroprotective effects during excitotoxic events. © 2010 Wiley-Liss, Inc.

Type Journal
Authors Schunk, E.; Aigner, C.; Stefanova, N.; Wenning, G.; Herzog, H.; Schwarzer, C.
Publisher Name HIPPOCAMPUS
Published Date 2011-01-01 00:00:00
Published Volume 21
Published Issue 9
Published Pages 1010-1020
Status Published In-print
OpenAccess Link Schunk Hippocampus.pdf