Neurotensin receptor 2 is induced in astrocytes and brain endothelial cells in relation to status epilepticus and neuroinflammation following pilocarpine administration in rats


  • Grigorios Kyriatzis
  • Anne Bernard
  • Angélique Bôle
  • Guillaume Pflieger
  • Petros Chalas
  • Maxime Masse
  • Pascaline Lécorché
  • Guillaume Jacquot
  • Lotfi Ferhat
  • Khrestchatisky Michel


Neurotensin (NT) acts as a primary neurotransmitter and neuromodulator in the CNS and has been involved in a number of CNS pathologies including epilepsy. NT mediates its central and peripheral effects by interacting with the NTSR1, NTSR2 and NTSR3 receptor subtypes. To date, little is known about the precise expression of the NT receptors in brain neural cells and their regulation in pathology. In the present work, we studied expression of the NTSR2 protein in the rat hippocampus using a model of temporal lobe epilepsy induced by pilocarpine and questioned whether NTSR2 was modulated in conditions of neuro-inflammation. This model is characterized by a rapid and intense inflammatory reaction with a pattern of reactive gliosis in the hippocampus. We show that NTSR2 protein is expressed in hippocampal astrocytes and its expression increases together with astrocyte reactivity following induction of status epilepticus. NTSR2 immunoreactivity is also increased in perivascular astrocytes and their end-feet and is apparent in endothelial cells following induction of status epilepticus. Proinflammatory factors such as IL1β and LPS induced NTSR2 in astrocytes, but also in microglia in vitro . Glial NTSR2 expression showed characteristic immediate early gene response under inflammatory conditions. Treating inflamed glial cells with a vectorized NT analogue decreased NTSR2 expression as well as astrocytic and microglial reactivity. Together, these results suggest that NTSR2 is implicated in astroglial and gliovascular inflammation and that targeting the NTSR2 receptor may open new avenues in the regulation of neuroinflammation in CNS diseases.

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