Agmatine, an endogenous derivative of arginine, has been found to be effective in treating idiopathic pain, convulsion, stress-mediated behavior, and attenuate the withdrawal symptoms of drugs like morphine. In the early stages of ischemic brain injury in animals, exogenous agmatine treatment was found to be neuroprotective. Agmatine is also considered as a putative neurotransmitter and is still an experimental drug. Chemically, agmatine is called agmatine 1-(4-aminobutyl guanidine). Crystallographic study data show that positively-charged guanidine can bind to the protein containing Gly and Asp residues, and the amino group can interact with the complimentary sites of Glu and Ser. In this study, we blocked the amino end of the agmatine by conjugating it with FITC, but the guanidine end was unchanged. We compared the neuroprotective function of the agmatine and agmatine-FITC by treating them in neurons after excitotoxic stimulation. We found that even the amino end blocked neuronal viability in the excitotoxic condition, by NMDA treatment for 1 h, was increased by agmatine-FITC, which was similar to that of agmatine. We also found that the agmatine-FITC treatment reduced the expression of nitric oxide production in NMDA-treated cells. This study suggests that even if the amino end of agmatine is blocked, it can perform its neuroprotective function.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
The authors thank Dr. Hyun Ji Young for assistance with the preparation of the Agmatine-FITC. This study was supported by a National Research Foundation of Korea grant funded by the Korea government (MSIP) (NRF-2017R1A2B2005350 and NRF-2021R1A2C2008034).
© 2021, The Author(s).
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience