Inhibition by excitatory amino acid agonists of norepinephrine (NE)-stimulated phosphoinositide hydrolysis was studied in rat brain slices. Inhibition was not observed in cortical slices prelabeled with [3H]inositol but was observed when slices were incubated simultaneously with [3H]inositol, glutamate, and NE. Therefore, we hypothesized that glutamate inhibits the synthesis of inositol phospholipids available to the α1-adrenergic receptor, thereby reducing NE-stimulated phosphoinositide hydrolysis. To test this hypothesis, the distribution of [3H]inositol in cortical slices was measured after 5, 10, 20, 40 and 60 min of incubation, with some slices being exposed to 200 μM NE, 1 mM glutamate, 1 mM N-methyl-d-aspartate (NMDA), 1 mM kainate, 1 mM quisqualate, or to NE in the presence of each of the excitatory amino acid agonists. Glutamate had little effect on the slice content of free [3H]inositol, but it severely reduced the synthesis of [3H]inositol phospholipids, in the presence or absence of NE. Glutamate also abolished NE-induced production of [3H]inositol monophosphate, [3H]inositol bisphosphate and [3H]inositol trisphosphate. Quisqualate mimicked the effects of glutamate, whereas NMDA and kainate caused less inhibition of the synthesis of [3H]inositol phospholipids and did not inhibit the response to NE. Glutamate produced similar inhibitory effects in slices from hippocampus and striatum. To test if the inhibitory effect of glutamate was the result of irreversible cell damage, cortical slices were incubated with 1 mM glutamate for 60 min prior to exposure to [3H]inositol and NE. Preincubation with glutamate did not reduce the synthesis of [3H]inositol phospholipids or inhibit NE-stimulated [3H]inositol monophosphate production. These results indicate that glutamate impairs the synthesis of inositol phospholipids. Each of the excitatory amino acid agonists, quisqualate, NMDA and kainate, inhibited [3H]inositol phospholipid synthesis, but only quisqualate affected [3H]inositol phospholipids available to the α1-adrenergic receptor.
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