N-methyl-D-aspartate (NMDA) receptors play a critical role in activity-dependent dendritic arborization, spinogenesis, and synapse formation by stimulating calcium-dependent signaling pathways. Previously, we have shown that brevetoxin 2 (PbTx-2), a voltage-gated sodium channel (VGSC) activator, produces a concentration-dependent increase in intracellular sodium [Na+]I and increases NMDA receptor (NMDAR) open probabilities and NMDA-induced calcium (Ca2+) influxes. The objective of this study is to elucidate the downstream signaling mechanisms by which the sodium channel activator PbTx-2 influences neuronal morphology in murine cerebrocortical neurons. PbTx-2 and NMDA triggered distinct Ca2+-influx pathways, both of which involved the NMDA receptor 2B (GluN2B). PbTx-2-induced neurite outgrowth in day in vitro 1 (DIV-1) neurons required the small Rho GTPase Rac1 and was inhibited by both a PAK1 inhibitor and a PAK1 siRNA. PbTx-2 exposure increased the phosphorylation of PAK1 at Thr-212. At DIV-5, PbTx-2 induced increases in dendritic protrusion density, p-cofilin levels, and F-actin throughout the dendritic arbor and soma. Moreover, PbTx-2 increased miniature excitatory post-synaptic currents (mEPSCs). These data suggest that the stimulation of neurite outgrowth, spinogenesis, and synapse formation produced by PbTx-2 are mediated by GluN2B and PAK1 signaling.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Pharmaceutical Science
- Drug Discovery
- Pharmacology, Toxicology and Pharmaceutics (miscellaneous)