Neurochemical Research

, Volume 17, Issue 8, pp 803–808 | Cite as

Selective effects of cyanide (100 μM) on the excitatory amino acid-induced elevation of intracellular calcium levels in neuronal culture

  • Zhengwei Cai
  • Patrick P. McCaslin
Original Articles


The effect of low concentrations of cyanide on the excitatory amino acid-induced elevations of intracellular calcium levels ([Ca2+]i) was studied in cerebellar granule cells using ratio fluorometry with fura-2. Glutamate, kainate, N-methyl-d-aspartate (NMDA), quisqualate (50 μM, each) and membrane depolarization by 40 mM KCl caused elevations of [Ca2+]i which were 10-, 10-, 3-, 2.3-, 10-fold over baseline levels, respectively. Cyanide, 100 μM, greatly augmented the increases in [Ca2+]i induced by glutamate, kainate and NMDA but not those induced by quisqualate or KCl. In the absence of these excitatory amino acids, cyanide had no significant effect in concentrations up to 400 μM. Elevations of [Ca2+]i induced by quisqualate and KCl were not significantly augmented by higher concentrations of cyanide (400 μM). Selective antagonists could block the effect of cyanide+the respective agonist; however, the calcium channel blockers, lanthanum and diltiazem lowered both NMDA- and kainate-induced elevations of [Ca2+]i, yet neither blocked increases in calcium when 100 μM cyanide was added. Collectively, these data support an interaction of cyanide with the excitatory amino acid receptor.

Key Words

Calcium channel blockers cerebellar granule cells cyanide excitatory amino acids glutamates kainate N-methyl-d-aspartate quisqualate 


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Copyright information

© Plenum Publishing Corporation 1992

Authors and Affiliations

  • Zhengwei Cai
    • 1
  • Patrick P. McCaslin
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Pharmacology and ToxicologyUniversity of Mississippi Medical CenterJackson

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