Metabotropic Glutamate Receptor 2 Expression Is Chronically Elevated in Male Rats With Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder Related Behavioral Traits Following Repetitive Low-Level Blast Exposure

Rita De Gasperi, Miguel A.Gama Sosa, Georgina Perez Garcia, Gissel M. Perez, Dylan Pryor, Chenel L.A. Morrison, Rachel Lind, Rania Abutarboush, Usmah Kawoos, Jonathan K. Statz, Jacob Patterson, Patrick R. Hof, Carolyn W. Zhu, Stephen T. Ahlers, David G. Cook, Gregory A. Elder

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Many military veterans who experienced blast-related traumatic brain injuries in the conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan currently suffer from chronic cognitive and mental health problems that include depression and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Male rats exposed to repetitive low-level blast develop cognitive and PTSD-related behavioral traits that are present for more than 1 year after exposure. We previously reported that a group II metabotropic receptor (mGluR2/3) antagonist reversed blast-induced behavioral traits. In this report, we explored mGluR2/3 expression following blast exposure in male rats. Western blotting revealed that mGluR2 protein (but not mGluR3) was increased in all brain regions studied (anterior cortex, hippocampus, and amygdala) at 43 or 52 weeks after blast exposure but not at 2 weeks or 6 weeks. mGluR2 RNA was elevated at 52 weeks while mGluR3 was not. Immunohistochemical staining revealed no changes in the principally presynaptic localization of mGluR2 by blast exposure. Administering the mGluR2/3 antagonist LY341495 after behavioral traits had emerged rapidly reversed blast-induced effects on novel object recognition and cued fear responses 10 months following blast exposure. These studies support alterations in mGluR2 receptors as a key pathophysiological event following blast exposure and provide further support for group II metabotropic receptors as therapeutic targets in the neurobehavioral effects that follow blast injury.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)714-733
Number of pages20
JournalJournal of Neurotrauma
Issue number5-6
StatePublished - 1 Mar 2024


  • blast
  • group II metabotropic glutamate receptors
  • male rats
  • metabotropic glutamate receptor 2
  • military veterans
  • traumatic brain injury

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