MG (methylglyoxal) is an inevitable metabolite derived from glycolysis leading to protein modification, mitochondrial dysfunction and cell death. The ubiquitous glyoxalase system detoxifies MG under GSH consumption by mean of Glo1 (glyoxalase I) as the rate-limiting enzyme. Neurons are highly vulnerable to MG, whereas astrocytes seem less susceptible due to their highly expressed glyoxalases. In neurodegenerative diseases, MG and Glo1 were found to be pivotal players in chronic CNS (central nervous system) diseases. Comparable results obtained upon MG treatment and NMDA (N-methyl-D-aspartate) receptor activation provided evidence of a possible link. Additional evidence was presented by alterations in Glo1 expression upon stimulation of excitotoxicity as an event in the aftermath of brain ischaemia. Glo1 expression was remarkably changed following ischaemia, and beneficial effects were found after exogenous application of Tat (transactivator of transcription)–Glo1. In summary, there are strong indications that Glo1 seems to be a suitable target to modulate the consequences of acute neuronal injury.

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