Selective vulnerability of spinal cord motor neurons to non-NMDA toxicity

D. Saroff, J. Delfs, D. Kuznetsov, C. Geula*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

33 Scopus citations


We previously reported that α-motor neurons in organotypic cultures of rat spinal cord (OTC-SC) are resistant to excitotoxicity induced through NMDA receptors. Here we describe the effects of non-NMDA glutamate receptor agonists kainic acid (KA) and quisqualic acid (QUIS) on motor neurons in OTC- SC. Large ventral horn acetylcholinesterase-positive neurons (VHANs), most of which are motor neurons, were quite sensitive to QUIS and KA toxicity and displayed losses of 95% and 94%, respectively. Small VHANs were reduced by 41% and 61% only. Identical results were obtained in cultures stained for non-phosphorylated neurofilaments. These observations demonstrate that α- motor neurons are considerably more sensitive to KA and QUIS than to NMDA toxicity. The proposed excitotoxic mechanism of ALS, therefore, is most likely mediated through non-NMDA glutamate receptor. (C) 2000 Lippincott Williams and Wilkins.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1117-1121
Number of pages5
Issue number5
StatePublished - Apr 7 2000


  • Acetylcholinesterase histochemistry
  • Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis
  • Excitotoxicity
  • Motor neurons
  • Non-phosphorylated neurofilaments
  • Organotypic culture of spinal cord

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuroscience(all)


Dive into the research topics of 'Selective vulnerability of spinal cord motor neurons to non-NMDA toxicity'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this