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G-protein coupled receptor-evoked glutamate exocytosis from astrocytes: role of prostaglandins.
Astrocytes are highly secretory cells, participating in rapid brain communication by releasing glutamate. Recent evidences have suggested that this process is largely mediated by Ca(2+)-dependent regulated exocytosis of VGLUT-positive vesicles. Here by taking advantage of VGLUT1-pHluorin and TIRF illumination, we characterized mechanisms of glutamate exocytosis evoked by endogenous transmitters (glutamate and ATP), which are known to stimulate Ca(2+) elevations in astrocytes. At first we characterized the VGLUT1-pHluorin expressing vesicles and found that VGLUT1-positive vesicles were a specific population of small synaptic-like microvesicles containing glutamate but which do not express VGLUT2. Endogenous mediators evoked a burst of exocytosis through activation of G-protein coupled receptors. Subsequent glutamate exocytosis was reduced by about 80% upon pharmacological blockade of the prostaglandin-forming enzyme, cyclooxygenase. On the other hand, receptor stimulation was accompanied by extracellular release of prostaglandin E2 (PGE2). Interestingly, administration of exogenous PGE2 produced per se rapid, store-dependent burst exocytosis of glutamatergic vesicles in astrocytes. Finally, when PGE2-neutralizing antibody was added to cell medium, transmitter-evoked exocytosis was again significantly reduced (by about 50%). Overall these data indicate that cyclooxygenase products are responsible for a major component of glutamate exocytosis in astrocytes and that large part of such component is sustained by autocrine/paracrine action of PGE2.
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