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Int J Physiol Pathophysiol Pharmacol 2011;3(1):9-20

Original Article
Increased transforming growth factor-β1 modulates glutamate receptor expression
in the hippocampus

James J. Bae, Yun-Yan Xiang, Alonso Martinez-Canabal, Paul W. Frankland, Burton B. Yang, Wei-Yang Lu

Molecular Brain Research Group, Robarts Research Institute, University of Western Ontario, London, Ontario, Canada; Department of
Anesthesia, Department of Physiology, Institute of Medical Science, University of Toronto; Program in Neurosciences and Mental
Health, Hospital for Sick Children; Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre, Toronto, Ontario, Canada

Received August 9, 2010; Accepted September 12, 2010; Epub September 15, 2010; Published January 1, 2011.

Abstract: Transforming growth factor-beta 1 (TGF-β1) is an inflammation-related cytokine. Its expression in the brain increases under
conditions of neurodegenerative diseases and injury. Previous studies have shown that genomic alterations of TGF-β1 expression in
the brain cause neurodegenerative changes in aged mice. The present study revealed that increased production of TGF-β1 in
transgenic mice resulted in gliosis at young ages. In addition, the increased TGF-β1 augmented the expression of some key subunits
of α-amino-3-hydroxy-5-methyl-4-isoxazoleproprionic acid (AMPA) and N-methyl-D-aspartate (NMDA) receptors in the hippocampus.
Treatment of cultured hippocampal neurons with TGF-β1 facilitated neurite outgrowth and enhanced glutamate-evoked currents.
Together, these data suggest that increased TGF-β1 alters ionotropic glutamate receptor expression and function in the hippocampus.

Keywords: Cytokine, astrocytes, microglia, glutamate receptor, neurodegeneration

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Address all correspondence to:
Wei-Yang Lu, MD, PhD
Robarts Research Institute
University of Western Ontario
100 Perth Drive, London
ON Canada N6A 5K8.
Tel: 1-519-931-5777 ext 24282