Adaptive Plasticity in Tachykinin and Tachykinin Receptor Expression after Focal Cerebral Ischemia Is Differentially Linked to GABAergic and Glutamatergic Cerebrocortical Circuits and Cerebrovenular Endothelium
Journal of Neuroscience
To test the hypothesis of an involvement of tachykinins in destabilization and hyperexcitation of neuronal circuits, gliosis, and neuroinflammation during cerebral ischemia, we investigated cell-specific expressional changes of the genes encoding substance P (SP), neurokinin B (NKB), and the tachykinin/ neurokinin receptors (NK1, NK2, and NK3) after middle cerebral artery occlusion (MCAO) in the rat. Our analysis by quantitative in situ hybridization, immunohistochemistry, and confocal
... y was concentrated on cerebrocortical areas that survive primary infarction but undergo secondary damage. Here, SP-encoding preprotachykinin-A and NK1 mRNA levels and SP-like immunoreactivity were transiently increased in GABAergic interneurons at 2 d after MCAO. Coincidently, MCAO caused a marked expression of SP and NK1 in a subpopulation of glutamatergic pyramidal cells, and in some neurons SP and NK1 mRNAs were coinduced. Elevated levels of the NKBencoding preprotachykinin-B mRNA and of NKB-like immunore-activity at 2 and 7 d after MCAO were confined to GABAergic interneurons. In parallel, the expression of NK3 was markedly downregulated in pyramidal neurons. MCAO caused transient NK1 expression in activated cerebrovenular endothelium within and adjacent to the infarct. NK1 expression was absent from activated astroglia or microglia. The differential ischemia-induced plasticity of the tachykinin system in distinct inhibitory and excitatory cerebrocortical circuits suggests that it may be involved in the balance of endogenous neuroprotection and neurotoxicity by enhancing GABAergic inhibitory circuits or by facilitating glutamate-mediated hyperexcitability. The transient induction of NK1 in cerebrovenular endothelium may contribute to ischemiainduced edema and leukocyte diapedesis. Brain tachykinin receptors are proposed as potential drug targets in stroke.