The Membrane Action of Excitatory Amino Acids on Cultured Mouse Spinal Cord Neurons

  • G. L. Westbrook
  • M. L. Mayer
Part of the Advances in Experimental Medicine and Biology book series (AEMB, volume 203)


Although the role of excitatory amino acids as neurotransmitters and as excitotoxins has been a topic of intense investigation, progress has been slowed by a lack of understanding of the membrane action of these compounds. Both endogenous agonists such as L-glutamate and L-aspartate and exogenous compounds such as kainate and quisqualate excite essentially all neurons within the vertebrate central nervous system. This seeming ‘non-specific’ excitation combined with the lack of agreement concerning the conductance changes accompanying L-glutamate depolarizations (as measured with current clamp recording) have complicated the analysis of the conductance mechanisms activated by excitatory amino acids.


Excitatory Amino Acid Reversal Potential Voltage Clamp Spinal Cord Neuron Voltage Sensitivity 
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Copyright information

© Plenum Press, New York 1986

Authors and Affiliations

  • G. L. Westbrook
    • 1
  • M. L. Mayer
    • 1
  1. 1.Laboratory of Developmental Neurobiology National Institute of Child Health and Human DevelopmentNational Institutes of HealthBethesdaUSA

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