Metabotropic glutamate receptor protein alterations after traumatic brain injury in rats

J Neurotrauma. 1999 Oct;16(10):893-902. doi: 10.1089/neu.1999.16.893.


Glutamate toxicity, mediated via ion channel-linked receptors, plays a key role in traumatic brain injury (TBI) pathophysiology. Excessive glutamate release after TBI also activates protein G-linked metabotropic glutamate receptors (mGluRs). We performed Western blot and immunohistochemical analysis with antibodies for group 1 and 2 mGluRs in hippocampal and cortex tissue at 7 and 15 days after lateral fluid-percussion TBI in rats. Protein homogenates of brain tissue were separated on 7.5% sodium dodecyl sulfate (SDS)-polyacrylamide gels, transferred to nitrocellulose, and incubated with either antibodies recognizing both mGluR2 and mGluR3 or antibodies against mGluR5. Equivalent protein loading of lanes was confirmed by using beta-actin antibody. Immunoreactive proteins were revealed with enhanced chemiluminescence and relative optical density of Western blots quantified by computerized image analysis. At 7 days after TBI, mGluR2/3 immunobinding ipsilateral to the fluid-percussion injury was reduced by 28% in hippocampus and 25% in cortex in comparison with the contralateral hemisphere (p < .05). mGluR5 immunobinding ipsilateral to the fluid-percussion injury was reduced by 20% in hippocampus and 27% in cortex (p < .05). At 15 days after TBI, the decreases in immunobinding were no longer significant. Immunohistochemical staining with the same antibodies revealed density changes congruent with the Western blot results. These data suggest that TBI produces an alteration in receptor protein expression that spontaneously recovers by 15 days after injury.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Brain / metabolism*
  • Brain / pathology
  • Brain Concussion / metabolism
  • Brain Concussion / pathology
  • Brain Injuries / metabolism*
  • Brain Injuries / pathology
  • Immunohistochemistry
  • Male
  • Rats
  • Rats, Sprague-Dawley
  • Receptor, Metabotropic Glutamate 5
  • Receptors, Metabotropic Glutamate / metabolism*


  • Grm5 protein, rat
  • Receptor, Metabotropic Glutamate 5
  • Receptors, Metabotropic Glutamate
  • metabotropic glutamate receptor 2
  • metabotropic glutamate receptor 3
  • metabotropic glutamate receptor type 1