Circulation Journal
Online ISSN : 1347-4820
Print ISSN : 1346-9843
ISSN-L : 1346-9843
Vascular Biology and Vascular Medicine
Glutamate Promotes Contraction of the Rat Ductus Arteriosus
Shujiro FujitaUtako YokoyamaRyo IshiwataRika AokiKenji NagaoDaiki MasukawaMasanari UmemuraTakayuki FujitaShiho IwasakiShigeru NishimakiKazuo SekiShuichi ItoYoshio GoshimaToshihide AsouMunetaka MasudaYoshihiro Ishikawa
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2016 Volume 80 Issue 11 Pages 2388-2396


Background:Extremely preterm infants frequently have patent ductus arteriosus (PDA). Recent recommendations include immediately beginning amino acid supplementation in extremely preterm infants. However, the effect of amino acids on closure of the ductus arteriosus (DA) remains unknown.

Methods and Results:Aminogram results in human neonates at day 2 revealed that the plasma glutamate concentration was significantly lower in extremely preterm infants (<28 weeks’ gestation) with PDA than in those without PDA and relatively mature preterm infants (28–29 weeks gestation). To investigate the effect of glutamate on DA closure, glutamate receptor expression in fetal rats was examined and it was found that the glutamate inotropic receptor, α-amino-3-hydroxy-5-methyl-4-isoxazolepropionate (AMPA) type subunit 1 (GluR1), mRNA was highly expressed in the DA compared to the aorta on gestational day 19 (preterm) and gestational day 21 (term). GluR1 proteins were co-localized with tyrosine hydroxylase-positive autonomic nerve terminals in the rat and human DA. Intraperitoneal administration of glutamate increased noradrenaline production in the rat DA. A whole-body freezing method demonstrated that glutamate administration induced DA contraction in both preterm (gestational day 20) and term rat fetuses. Glutamate-induced DA contraction was attenuated by the calcium-sensitive GluR receptor antagonist, NASPM, or the adrenergic receptor α1 blocker, prazosin.

Conclusions:These data suggest that glutamate induces DA contraction through GluR-mediated noradrenaline production. Supplementation of glutamate might help to prevent PDA in extremely preterm infants. (Circ J 2016; 80: 2388–2396)

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