Melatonin improves neuroplasticity by upregulating the growth-associated protein-43 (GAP-43) and NMDAR postsynaptic density-95 (PSD-95) proteins in cultured neurons exposed to glutamate excitotoxicity and in rats subjected to transient focal cerebral ischemia even during a long-term recovery period

Wei Sheng Juan, Sheng Yang Huang, Che Chao Chang, Yu Chang Hung, Yu Wen Lin, Tsung Ying Chen, Ai Hua Lee, Ai Chiang Lee, Tian Shung Wu, E. Jian Lee

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32 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Recent evidence shows that the NMDAR postsynaptic density-95 (PSD-95), growth-associated protein-43 (GAP-43), and matrix metalloproteinase-9 (MMP-9) protein enhance neuroplasticity at the subacute stage of stroke. Here, we evaluated whether melatonin would modulate the PSD-95, GAP-43, and MMP-9 proteins in cultured neurons exposed to glutamate excitotoxicity and in rats subjected to experimental stroke. Adult male Sprague-Dawley rats were treated with melatonin (5 mg/kg) or vehicle at reperfusion onset after transient occlusion of the right middle cerebral artery (tMCAO) for 90 min. Animals were euthanized for Western immunoblot analyses for the PSD-95 and GAP-43 proteins and gelatin zymography for the MMP-9 activity at 7 days postinsult. Another set of animals was sacrificed for histologic and Golgi-Cox-impregnated sections at 28 days postinsult. In cultured neurons exposed to glutamate excitotoxicity, melatonin significantly upregulated the GAP-43 and PSD-95 expressions and improved dendritic aborizations (P < 0.05, respectively). Relative to controls, melatonin-treated stroke animals caused a significant improvement in GAP-43 and PSD-95 expressions as well as the MMP-9 activity in the ischemic brain (P < 0.05). Consequently, melatonin also significantly promoted the dendritic spine density and reduced infarction in the ischemic brain, and improved neurobehaviors as well at 28 days postinsult (P < 0.05, respectively). Together, melatonin upregulates GAP-43, PSD-95, and MMP-9 proteins, which likely accounts for its actions to improve neuroplasticity in cultured neurons exposed to glutamate excitotoxicity and to enhance long-term neuroprotection, neuroplasticity, and brain remodeling in stroke rats.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)213-223
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Pineal Research
Volume56
Issue number2
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2014 Mar 1

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Endocrinology

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