Section 42
Chapter 41,454

Structure-function studies on N-oxalyl-diamino-dicarboxylic acids and excitatory amino acid receptors: evidence that beta-L-ODAP is a selective non-NMDA agonist

Bridges, R.J.; Stevens, D.R.; Kahle, J.S.; Nunn, P.B.; Kadri, M.; Cotman, C.W.

Journal of Neuroscience: the Official Journal of the Society for Neuroscience 9(6): 2073-2079


ISSN/ISBN: 0270-6474
PMID: 2542485
Accession: 041453175

Excitatory amino acids and their receptors play an important role in both normal synaptic transmission and excitotoxic-mediated neuronal death. In the present investigation we have prepared a series of glutamate analogs and examined the pharmacological specificity with which they interact with excitatory amino acid receptors. Included within this group of compounds is a potent excitotoxic amino acid, beta-N-oxalyl-L-alpha, beta-diaminopropionic acid (beta-L-ODAP). This excitotoxin is of particular interest because it has been identified as a major causative agent of human neurolathyrism, a disease characterized by permanent spastic paralysis. The site of action of beta-L-ODAP was delineated with both electrophysiological recordings in hippocampal slices and radioligand binding assays in synaptic plasma membranes. We report that beta-L-ODAP is a potent agonist at the non-N-methyl-D-aspartate (NMDA) type of excitatory amino acid receptor. beta-L-ODAP interacts most potently with the quisqualate class of non-NMDA receptors (IC50 = 1.3 microM), less potently with the kainate receptor (IC50 = 17 microM), and very weakly with NMDA receptors. The specificity of this binding was consistent with physiological experiments that demonstrated that beta-L-ODAP-induced depolarizations were potently blocked by the newly identified non-NMDA receptor antagonist, CNQX, but were not affected by the NMDA antagonist D-AP5. These results extend recent studies that have focused on the contribution of NMDA receptors to excitotoxicity and highlight the potential involvement of non-NMDA receptors in excitotoxic-mediated cell death.

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