Comparison of the potency of competitive NMDA antagonists against the neurotoxicity of glutamate and NMDA.
The object of this investigation was to determine whether glutamate uptake affects the apparent potency of the competitive antagonists DL-2-amino-5-phosphonovalerate and CGS-19755 in blocking NMDA receptor-mediated neurotoxicity. In astrocyte-rich rat cortical cultures we observed that DL-2-amino-5-phosphonovalerate and CGS-19755 were 24 and 16 times more potent against NMDA than against glutamate-induced toxicity. In contrast, DL-2-amino-5-phosphonovalerate was equipotent against the two agonists in astrocyte-poor cultures, in which dendrites are directly exposed to the extracellular medium. With the noncompetitive NMDA antagonist MK-801, similar potencies were observed against glutamate (212 +/- 16 nM) and against NMDA (155 +/- 9 nM) neurotoxicity. These results may be explained if we assume that the neuronal cell body is less susceptible than the dendrites to NMDA receptor-mediated toxicity, and that the action of glutamate in astrocyte-rich cultures is confined to the cell body. In this case, one would expect that higher concentrations of glutamate would be needed to produce toxicity in astrocyte-rich cultures, and that higher concentrations of competitive antagonists would be needed to overcome this toxicity. Our observations help explain the pharmacology of the competitive NMDA antagonists against NMDA receptor-mediated neurotoxicity but also suggest the possibility that, because the cell body and dendrites may be distinct sites for neurotoxicity, they might also involve different mechanisms of toxicity.
Speliotes, EK; Hartnett, KA; Blitzblau, RC; Aizenman, E; Rosenberg, PA
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