The role of presenilin-1 in the excitotoxicity of ethanol withdrawal

Marianna E. Jung, Daniel B. Metzger, Hriday K. Das

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


Presenilin-1 (PS1) is a core component of g-secretase that is involved in neurodegeneration. We have previously shown that PS1 interacts with a mitogen- Activated protein kinase [(MAPK) jun-NH2- Terminal-kinase], and another MAPK (p38) is activated by ethanol withdrawal (EW), abrupt termination from chronic ethanol exposure. EW is excitotoxic in nature, induces glutamate upregulation, and provokes neuronal damage. Here, we explored a potential mechanistic pathway involving glutamate, p38 (p38a isozyme), and PS1 that may mediate EW-induced excitotoxic stress. We used the prefrontal cortex of male rats withdrawn from a chronic ethanol diet. Additionally, we used ethanol-withdrawn HT22 cells (mouse hippocampal) treated with the inhibitor of glutamate receptors [dizocilpine (MK-801)], p38α (SB203580; 4-[4-(4-fluorophenyl)-2-(4-methylsulfinylphenyl)-1Himidazol- 5-yl]pyridine), or g-secretase [N-[N- (3,5-difluorophenacetyl)- l- Alanyl]-S-phenylglycine t-butyl ester (DAPT)] during EW. Separately, ethanol-free HT22 cells were exposed to glutamate with or without SB203580 or DAPT. Protein levels, mRNA levels, and cell viability were assessed using immunoblotting, qualitative polymerase chain reaction, and calcein assay, respectively. The prefrontal cortex of ethanolwithdrawn rats or HT22 cells showed an increase in PS1 and p38a, which was attenuated by MK-801 and SB203580, but mimicked by glutamate treatment to ethanol-free HT22 cells. DAPT attenuated the toxic effect of EW or glutamate on HT22 cells. These results suggest that PS1 expression is triggered by glutamate through p38a, contributing to the excitotoxic stimulus of EW.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)516-526
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutics
Issue number3
StatePublished - Sep 2016


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