Glutamatergic hyperactivity plays an important role in the pathophysiology of Parkinson's disease (PD). Ceftriaxone increases expression of glutamate transporter 1 (GLT-1) and affords neuroprotection. This study was aimed at clarifying whether ceftriaxone prevented, or reversed, behavioral and neuronal deficits in an 1-methyl-4-phenyl-1,2,3,6-tetrahydropyridine (MPTP)-induced PD rat model. Male Wistar rats were injected daily with either ceftriaxone starting 5 days before or 3 days after MPTP lesioning (day 0) or saline and underwent a bar-test on days 1-7, a T-maze test on days 9-11, and an object recognition test on days 12-14, then the brains were taken for histological evaluation on day 15. Dopaminergic degeneration in the substantia nigra pars compacta and striatum was observed on days 3 and 15. Motor dysfunction in the bar test was observed on day 1, but disappeared by day 7. In addition, lesioning resulted in deficits in working memory in the T-maze test and in object recognition in the object recognition task, but these were not observed in rats treated pre- or post-lesioning with ceftriaxone. Lesioning also caused neurodegeneration in the hippocampal CA1 area and induced glutamatergic hyperactivity in the subthalamic nucleus, and both changes were suppressed by ceftriaxone. Increased GLT-1 expression and its co-localization with astrocytes were observed in the striatum and hippocampus in the ceftriaxone-treated animals. To our knowledge, this is the first study showing a relationship between ceftriaxone-induced GLT-1 expression, neuroprotection, and improved cognition in a PD rat model. Ceftriaxone may have clinical potential for the prevention and treatment of dementia associated with PD.
- Glutamate transporter 1
- Glutamatergic hyperactivity
- Parkinson's disease
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience