Comparison of effects of endogenous and exogenous excitatory amino acids on retzius nerve cells of the leech
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In this paper we examine the effects of L-aspartate, L-glutamate, and beta-N-oxalylamino-L-alanine (Lathyrus toxin) on Retzius nerve cells of the leech Haemopis sanguisuga. The goal was to compare the electrophysiological effects of endogenous vs. exogenous amino acids, known as potent neurotoxins, through themechanismof excitotoxicity.We used classical intracellular recordings on Retzius nerve cells in isolated ganglia of the leech, and plotted dose-response curves to compare potencies. Our results show that Lathyrus toxin is more than 200 times more potent in depolarizing the membrane potential on our model than L-aspartate and L-glutamate, which are approximately equipotent.
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Srdjan Lopicic, Institute for Pathological Physiology,Medical Faculty Belgrade, Belgrade, Serbia