• Aniracetam;
  • Glutamate;
  • Metabotropic receptor;
  • Neuroprotection

Abstract: Activation of glutamate ionotropic receptors represents the primary event in the neurotoxicity process triggered by excitatory amino acids. We demonstrate here that the concentration-dependent stimulation of metabotropic glutamate receptor (mGluR) by the selective agonist trans-1-aminocyclopentane-1, 3-dicarboxylate or by quisqualate counteracts both glutamate- and kainate-induced neurotoxicity in primary cultures of rat cerebellar granule cells. The mGluR-evoked responses are potentiated by aniracetam, which per se also elicits neuroprotection. Aniracetam concentration-dependently counteracted glutsmate-, kainate-, or α-amino-3-hydroxy-5-methyl-4-isoxazolepropionic acid-induced cell death and greatly facilitated neuroprotective response achieved by different concentrations of both quisqualate and trans-1-aminocyclopentane-1, 3-dicarboxylate. In addition, aniracetam potentiated the mGluR-coupled stimulation of phospholipase C, as revealed by the measurement of 3H-inositol phosphate formation. Thus, mGluRs could be a suitable target for novel pharmacological strategies pointing to the treatment of neurodegenerative diseases.