Skip to main content
Open Access Publications from the University of California

UC San Diego

UC San Diego Previously Published Works bannerUC San Diego

Ionotropic glutamate receptors activate cell signaling in response to glutamate in Schwann cells.

Published Web Location
No data is associated with this publication.

In the peripheral nervous system, Schwann cells (SCs) demonstrate surveillance activity, detecting injury and undergoing trans-differentiation to support repair. SC receptors that detect peripheral nervous system injury remain incompletely understood. We used RT-PCR to profile ionotropic glutamate receptor expression in cultured SCs. We identified subunits required for assembly of N-methyl-d-aspartic acid (NMDA) receptors (NMDA-Rs), α-amino-3-hydroxy-5-methyl-4-isoxazolepropionic acid receptors, and kainate receptors. Treatment of SCs with 40-100 µM glutamate or with 0.5-1.0 µM NMDA robustly activated Akt and ERK1/2. The response was transient and bimodal; glutamate concentrations that exceeded 250 µM failed to activate cell signaling. Phosphoprotein profiling identified diverse phosphorylated proteins in glutamate-treated SCs in addition to ERK1/2 and Akt, including p70 S6-kinase, glycogen synthase kinase-3, ribosomal S6 kinase, c-Jun, and cAMP response element binding protein. Activation of SC signaling by glutamate was blocked by EGTA and dizocilpine and by silencing expression of the NMDA-R NR1 subunit. Phosphoinositide 3-kinase/PI3K functioned as an essential upstream activator of Akt and ERK1/2 in glutamate-treated SCs. When glutamate or NMDA was injected directly into crush-injured rat sciatic nerves, ERK1/2 phosphorylation was observed in myelinated and nonmyelinating SCs. Glutamate promoted SC migration by a pathway that required PI3K and ERK1/2. These results identified ionotropic glutamate receptors and NMDA-Rs, specifically, as potentially important cell signaling receptors in SCs.-Campana, W. M., Mantuano, E., Azmoon, P., Henry, K., Banki, M. A., Kim, J. H., Pizzo, D. P., Gonias, S. L. Ionotropic glutamate receptors activate cell signaling in response to glutamate in Schwann cells.

Many UC-authored scholarly publications are freely available on this site because of the UC's open access policies. Let us know how this access is important for you.

Item not freely available? Link broken?
Report a problem accessing this item