The possibility that glutamate may induce neuronal apoptosis was examined in cultured cortical neurons. Neurons underwent widespread death 24 h following exposure to 50 μ M glutamate. The glutamate neurotoxicity was blocked by inclusion of the glutamate antagonists, 10 μ M MK-801 and 50 μ M CNQX. The death was characterized by swelling cell body and bursting cytoplasmic membrane in the early phase of degeneration, suggesting that glutamate produces receptor-mediated excitotoxic necrosis. With blockade of excitotoxicity by addition of 10 μ M MK-801 and 50 μ M CNQX, cortical neurons exposed to 2 mM glutamate underwent necrosis morphologically identical to excitotoxicity but sensitive to 100 μ M trolox, an antioxidant, suggesting that high doses of glutamate produce oxidative neuronal necrosis via non-receptor-mediated mechanisms. Interestingly, internucleosomal DNA fragmentation and chromatin condensation were observed in the course of glutamate-induced neuronal necrosis.
Neuroscience Letters – Elsevier
Published: Jan 16, 1998
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