Glutamate receptor-induced cell death, known as excitotoxicity in both neurons and oligodendrocytes, has been implicated as a common pathway of cell death in numerous central nervous system (CNS) diseases and trauma. Research in both neuronal and oligodendrocyte excitotoxicity has examined glutamate's receptor-mediated effects on CNS cells, and explored strategies to protect cells exposed to the elevated glutamate levels that occur in CNS trauma and disease. Proinflammatory cytokines are also elevated in the injured CNS, and have also been implicated in CNS cell death. Recently, several laboratories have examined cytokines' effects on neuronal and glial excitotoxicity. Here, we review literature concerning the dynamic susceptibility of both neurons and oligodendrocytes to excitotoxicity, and present new data from our laboratory showing that the susceptibility of oligodendrocytes to excitotoxicity is acutely potentiated by the proinflammatory cytokine TNFα.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience