We show that the G protein-coupled receptor GPR37-like 1 (GPR37L1) is expressed in most astrocytes and some oligodendrocyte precursors in the mouse central nervous system. This contrasts with GPR37, which is mainly in mature oligodendrocytes. Comparison of wild type and Gpr37l1-/- mice showed that loss of GPR37L1 did not affect the input resistance or resting potential of astrocytes or neurons in the hippocampus. However, GPR37L1-mediated signalling inhibited astrocyte glutamate transporters and - surprisingly, given its lack of expression in neurons - reduced neuronal NMDA receptor (NMDAR) activity during prolonged activation of the receptors as occurs in ischemia. This effect on NMDAR signalling was not mediated by a change in the release of D-serine or TNF-α, two astrocyte-derived agents known to modulate NMDAR function. After middle cerebral artery occlusion, Gpr37l1 expression was increased around the lesion. Neuronal death was increased by ∼40% in Gpr37l1-/- brain compared to wild type in an in vitro model of ischemia. Thus, GPR37L1 protects neurons during ischemia, presumably by modulating extracellular glutamate concentration and NMDAR activation.
Keywords: Gpr37l1 knockout mice; Gpr37l1-GFP mice; MCAO; neuroprotection; prosaposin.
© 2017 The Authors GLIA Published by Wiley Periodicals, Inc.