NAADP (nicotinic acid adenine dinucleotide phosphate) has been proposed as a second messenger for glutamate in neuronal and glial cells via the activation of the lysosomal Ca2+ channels TPC1 and TPC2. However, the activities of glutamate that are mediated by NAADP remain unclear. In this study, we evaluated the effect of glutamate on autophagy in astrocytes at physiological, non-toxic concentration. We found that glutamate induces autophagy at similar extent as NAADP. By contrast, the NAADP antagonist NED-19 or SiRNA-mediated inhibition of TPC1/2 decreases autophagy induced by glutamate, confirming a role for NAADP in this pathway. The involvement of TPC1/2 in glutamate-induced autophagy was also confirmed in SHSY5Y neuroblastoma cells. Finally, we show that glutamate leads to a NAADP-dependent activation of AMPK, which is required for autophagy induction, while mTOR activity is not affected by this treatment. Taken together, our results indicate that glutamate stimulates autophagy via NAADP/TPC/AMPK axis, providing new insights of how Ca2+ signalling glutamate-mediated can control the cell metabolism in the central nervous system.
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