In vitro models of ischemic stroke based on the cell damage of dissociated central nervous system cultures due to glucose and oxygen deprivation (OGD) or to the exposure to a high concentration of glutamate (Glut) were used to establish that s-GO, applied during the glutamate mediated excitotoxic cascade, by modulating synaptic over-activity, exerts a protective effect, thus promoting neuronal survival and integrity.
Small graphene oxide (s-GO) nanosheets reversibly downregulate central nervous system (CNS) excitatory synapses, with potential developments as future therapeutic tools to treat neuro-disorders characterized by altered glutamatergic transmission. Excitotoxicity, namely cell death triggered by exceeding ambient glutamate fueling over-activation of excitatory synapses, is a pathogenic mechanism shared by several neural diseases, from ischemic stroke to neurodegenerative disorders. In this work, CNS cultures were exposed to oxygen-glucose deprivation (OGD) to mimic ischemic stroke in vitro, and it is show that the delivery of s-GO following OGD, during the endogenous build-up of secondary damage and excitotoxicity, improved neuronal survival. In a different paradigm, excitotoxicity cell damage was reproduced through exogenous glutamate application, and s-GO co-treatment protected neuronal integrity, potentially by directly downregulating the synaptic over-activation brought about by exogenous glutamate. This proof-of-concept study suggests that s-GO may find novel applications in therapeutic developments for treating excitotoxicity-driven neural cell death.Zum Volltext