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Acid-sensing ion channel 1a drives AMPA receptor plasticity following ischemia and acidosis in hippocampal CA1 neurons
Journal of Physiology
The CA1 region of the hippocampus is particularly vulnerable to ischemic damage. While NMDA receptors play a major role in excitotoxicity, it is thought to be exacerbated in this region by two forms of post-ischemic AMPA receptor (AMPAR) plasticity - namely, anoxic long-term potentiation (a-LTP), and a delayed increase in the prevalence of Ca2+ -permeable GluA2-lacking AMPARs (CP-AMPARs). The acid-sensing ion channel 1a (ASIC1a) which is expressed in CA1 pyramidal neurons, is also known to contribute to post-ischemic neuronal death and to physiologically induced LTP. This raises the question - does ASIC1a activation drive the post-ischemic forms of AMPAR plasticity in CA1 pyramidal neurons? We have tested this by examining organotypic hippocampal slice cultures (OHSCs) exposed to oxygen glucose deprivation (OGD), and dissociated cultures of hippocampal pyramidal neurons (HPN) exposed to low pH (acidosis). We find that both a-LTP and the delayed increase in the prevalence of CP-AMPARs are dependent on ASIC1a activation during ischemia. Indeed, acidosis alone is sufficient to induce the increase in CP-AMPARs. We also find that inhibition of ASIC1a channels circumvents any potential neuroprotective benefit arising from block of CP-AMPARs. By demonstrating that ASIC1a activation contributes to post-ischemic AMPAR plasticity, our results identify a functional interaction between acidotoxicity and excitotoxicity in hippocampal CA1 cells, and provide insight into the role of ASIC1a and CP-AMPARs as potential drug targets for neuroprotection. We thus propose that ASIC1a activation can drive certain forms of CP-AMPAR plasticity, and that inhibiting ASIC1a affords neuroprotection.
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