Polyunsaturated free fatty acids (PUFAs) are known to play critical roles for the development, maintenance, and function of the brain. Recently, we reported that G-protein coupled receptor 40 (GPR40), one type of PUFA receptors, is expressed throughout the adult primate central nervous system including the hippocampus. This opens a possibility that PUFA might act as extracellular signaling molecules at the GPR40 receptor to regulate neuronal function. Here we studied protein expression of GPR40 in the neurogenic niche of the adult monkey hippocampus under normal and postischemic conditions. Confocal laser microscope analysis of immunostained sections revealed GPR40 immunoreactivity in neural progenitors, immature neurons, astrocytes and endothelial cells of the subgranular zone (SGZ) of the dentate gyrus (DG); a well-known neurogenic niche within the adult brain. Immunoblotting analysis showed that the GPR40 protein increased significantly in the second week after global cerebral ischemia as compared with the control. This was compatible with the post-ischemic increment of GPR40-positive cells in the SGZ as detected by immunofluorescence imaging. Taken together with our previous findings of the SGZ progenitor cell upregulation after ischemia, the present data suggest that PUFA such as docosahexaenoic acid may act via GPR40 to regulate adult hippocampal neurogenesis in primates.
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