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Unexpected effects of peripherally administered kynurenic acid on cortical spreading depression and related blood–brain barrier permeability

Authors Oláh G, Herédi J, Menyhárt Á, Czinege Zsolt, Nagy D, Fuzik J, Kocsis K, Knapp L, Krucsó E, Gellért L, Kis Z, Farkas T, Fülöp F, Párdutz Á, Tajti J, Vécsei L, Toldi J

Received 25 February 2013

Accepted for publication 3 May 2013

Published 16 September 2013 Volume 2013:7 Pages 981—987

DOI https://doi.org/10.2147/DDDT.S44496

Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single-blind

Peer reviewer comments 2


Gáspár Oláh,1 Judit Herédi,1 Ákos Menyhárt,1 Zsolt Czinege,2 Dávid Nagy,1 János Fuzik,1 Kitti Kocsis,1 Levente Knapp,1 Erika Krucsó,1 Levente Gellért,1 Zsolt Kis,1 Tamás Farkas,1 Ferenc Fülöp,3 Árpád Párdutz,4 János Tajti,4 László Vécsei,4 József Toldi1

1Department of Physiology, Anatomy and Neuroscience, 2Department of Software Engineering, 3Institute of Pharmaceutical Chemistry and MTA-SZTE Research Group for Stereochemistry, 4Department of Neurology and MTA-SZTE Neuroscience Research Group, University of Szeged, Szeged, Hungary

Abstract: Cortical spreading depression (CSD) involves a slowly-propagating depolarization wave in the cortex, which can appear in numerous pathophysiological conditions, such as migraine with aura, stroke, and traumatic brain injury. Neurons and glial cells are also depolarized transiently during the phenomena. CSD is followed by a massive increase in glutamate release and by changes in the brain microcirculation. The aim of this study was to investigate the effects of two N-methyl-D-aspartate receptor antagonists, endogenous kynurenic acid (KYNA) and dizocilpine, on CSD and the related blood–brain barrier (BBB) permeability in rats. In intact animals, KYNA hardly crosses the BBB but has some positive features as compared with its precursor L-Kynurenine, which is frequently used in animal studies (KYNA cannot be metabolized to excitotoxic agents such as 3-hydroxy-L-kynurenine and quinolinic acid). We therefore investigated the possible effects of peripherally administered KYNA. Repetitive CSD waves were elicited by the application of 1 M KCl solution to the cortex. Direct current-electrocorticograms were measured for 1 hour. Four parameters of the waves were compared. Evans blue dye and fluorescent microscopy were used to study the possible changes in the permeability of the BBB. The results demonstrated that N-methyl-D-aspartate receptor antagonists can reduce the number of CSD waves and decrease the permeability of the BBB during CSD. These results suggest that KYNA itself or its derivatives may offer a new approach in the therapy of migraines.

Keywords: blood–brain barrier, cortical spreading depression, glutamate receptors, kynurenic acid, kynurenines, NMDAR

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