Author(s): Gill SS, Mueller RW, McGuire PF, Pulido OM
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Abstract Glutamate receptors (GluRs) are ubiquitously present in the central nervous system (CNS) as the major mediators of excitatory neurotransmission and excitotoxicity. Neural injury associated with trauma, stroke, epilepsy, and many neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer's, Huntington's, and Parkinson's diseases and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis may be mediated by excessive activation of GluRs. Neurotoxicity associated with excitatory amino acids encountered in food, such as domoic acid and monosodium glutamate, has also been linked to GluRs. Less is known about GluRs outside the CNS. Recent observations suggest that several subtypes of GluRs are widely distributed in peripheral tissues. Using immunochemical and molecular techniques, the presence of GluR subtypes was demonstrated in the rat and monkey heart, with preferential distribution within the conducting system, nerve terminals, and cardiac ganglia. GluR subtypes NMDAR 1, GluR 2/3, and mGluR 2/3 are also present in kidney, liver, lung, spleen, and testis. Further investigations are needed to assess the role of these receptors in peripheral tissues and their importance in the toxicity of excitatory compounds. Therefore, food safety assessment and neurobiotechnology focusing on drugs designed to interact with GluRs should consider these tissues as potential target/effector sites.
This article was published in Toxicol Pathol
and referenced in Journal of Addiction Research & Therapy