Excitotoxins pp 207-219 | Cite as

Mechanisms of Excitotoxins Examined in Organotypic Cultures of Rat Central Nervous System

  • William O. WhetsellJr.
  • Robert Schwarcz
Part of the Wenner-Gren Center International Symposium Series book series (WGCISS)


Six years ago, Coyle and Schwarcz (1976) and McGeer and McGeer (1976) reported that intrastriatal injections of the potent neuroexcitotoxin (see Olney, 1980), kainic acid (KA), produce axon-sparing neurodegenerative lesions in the striatum of the rat. Ablation of corticostriatal fibers before such injections abolished the neurotoxic effects of KA (McGeer et al, 1978; Biziere and Coyle, 1978). The consequences of KA administration have now been widely studied and the striatal lesion has been construed to represent an animal model for the neurodegenerative disorder, Huntington’s disease (HD; Coyle et al, 1977; Fibiger, 1978). Our studies (Whetsell et al, 1979; Whetsell, 1979; Whetsell and Nicklas, 1980) in organotypic cultures of rat striatum (CA), striatum-plus-frontal cortex (CA-CX) and frontal cortex alone (CX), have demonstrated that the neurotoxic effects of KA can be observed only in CA-CX and CX cultures.


Dendritic Spine Kainic Acid Quinolinic Acid Cresyl Violet Organotypic Culture 
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Copyright information

© The Wenner-Gren Center 1983

Authors and Affiliations

  • William O. WhetsellJr.
    • 1
  • Robert Schwarcz
    • 2
  1. 1.Division of NeuropathologyUniversity of Tennessee Center for the Health SciencesMemphisUSA
  2. 2.Maryland Psychiatric Research CenterUniversity of Maryland School of MedicineBaltimoreUSA

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