3 years ago

Role of the Astroglial Glutamate Exchanger xCT in Ventral Hippocampus in Resilience to Stress

Role of the Astroglial Glutamate Exchanger xCT in Ventral Hippocampus in Resilience to Stress
Rachael L. Neve, Carla Nasca, Bruce S. McEwen, Paul Greengard, Lars Brichta, Paolo de Angelis, Francis S. Lee, Jason Ni, Masahiro Okamoto, Timothy Lau, Danielle Zelli, Benedetta Bigio, Hideyo Soya


We demonstrate that stress differentially regulates glutamate homeostasis in the dorsal and ventral hippocampus and identify a role for the astroglial xCT in ventral dentate gyrus (vDG) in stress and antidepressant responses. We provide an RNA-seq roadmap for the stress-sensitive vDG. The transcription factor REST binds to xCT promoter in co-occupancy with the epigenetic marker H3K27ac to regulate expression of xCT, which is also reduced in a genetic mouse model of inherent susceptibility to depressive-like behavior. Pharmacologically, modulating histone acetylation with acetyl-L-carnitine (LAC) or acetyl-N-cysteine (NAC) rapidly increases xCT and activates a network with mGlu2 receptors to prime an enhanced glutamate homeostasis that promotes both pro-resilient and antidepressant-like responses. Pharmacological xCT blockage counteracts NAC prophylactic effects. GFAP+-Cre-dependent overexpression of xCT in vDG mimics pharmacological actions in promoting resilience. This work establishes a mechanism by which vDG protection leads to stress resilience and antidepressant responses via epigenetic programming of an xCT-mGlu2 network.

Publisher URL: http://www.cell.com/neuron/fulltext/S0896-6273(17)30860-7

DOI: 10.1016/j.neuron.2017.09.020

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