Neurotoxicity Research

, Volume 6, Issue 7, pp 615–630

Neurotoxins and neurotoxic species implicated in neurodegeneration


DOI: 10.1007/BF03033456

Cite this article as:
Segura-Aguilar, J. & Kostrzewa, R.M. neurotox res (2004) 6: 615. doi:10.1007/BF03033456


Neurotoxins, in the general sense, represent novel chemical structures which when administered in vivo orin vitro, are capable of producing neuronal damage or neurodegeneration—with some degree of specificity relating to neuronal phenotype or populations of neurons with specific characteristics (i.e., receptor type, ion channel type, astrocyte-dependence, etc.). The broader term ‘neurotoxin’ includes this categorization but extends the term to include intra- or extracellular mediators involved in the neurodegenerative event, including necrotic and apoptotic factors. Moreover, as it is recognized that astrocytes are essential supportive satellite cells for neurons, and because damage to these cells ultimately affects neuronal function, the term ‘neurotoxin’ might reasonably be extended to include those chemical species which also adversely affect astrocytes. This review is intended to highlight developments that have occurred in the field of ‘neurotoxins’ during the past 5 years, including MPTP/MPP+, 6-hydroxydopamine (6-OHDA), meth-amphetamine; salsolinol; leukoaminochrome-o-semi-quinone; rotenone; iron; paraquat; HPP+; veratridine; soman; glutamate; kainate; 3-nitropropionic acid; peroxynitrite anion; and metals (copper, manganese, lead, mercury). Neurotoxins represent tools to help elucidate intra- and extra-cellular processes involved in neuronal necrosis and apoptosis, so that drugs can be developed towards targets that interrupt the processes leading towards neuronal death.


Neurotoxins Neurodegeneration Necrosis Apoptosis MPTP 6-OHDA Methamphetamine Rotenone Leukoaminochrome-o-semiquinone Salsolinol Paraquat Veratridine Peroxynitrite anion 3-Nitropropionic acid Soman Glutamate Kainate Domoate MPP+ HPP+ Iron Copper Manganese Lead Mercury 

Copyright information

© Springer 2004

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Molecular and Clinical Pharmacology, ICBM, Faculty of MedicineUniversity of ChileCasillaChile
  2. 2.Department of Pharmacology, Quillen College of MedicineEast Tennessee State UniversityJohnson CityUSA

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