Glutamate transporter-1 (GLT-1), a major glutamate transporter expressed in astrocytes, takes up excess glutamate from the micro-environment in order to prevent excitotoxicity. Drugs that increase GLT-1 expression may have therapeutic effects in disorders associated with neuronal excitotoxicity. 2,3,4',5-tetrahydroxystilbene 2-O-β-D-glucoside (TSG), a monomer of stilbene from polygonummultiflorum, exerts neuroprotection in a range of experimental models such as Alzheimer's disease and brain ischemia. In this study, we evaluated the effect of TSG on GLT-1 protein expression in mouse primary-cultured astrocytes. Results showed that TSG markedly increased the GLT-1 protein expression level in mouse primary-cultured astrocytes in a dose- and time-dependent manner, and this increase was mediated by the activation of protein kinase B (Akt) but not by the activation of extracellular signal-regulated protein kinase 1/2. Furthermore, inhibition of cAMP response element-binding protein, but not nuclear factor kappa B, abolished the TSG-mediated increase in GLT-1 protein expression in cultured astrocytes. Collectively, these findings may provide novel insights into the mechanism for TSG in neuroprotection, and would help search new agents targeting neurodegenerative disorders associated with impaired astrocytic glutamate transporters.

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