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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

Characterization of striatal cultures with the effect of QUIN and NMDA.

The degeneration of selective and specific types of neurons is a characteristic feature in several neurodegenerative disorders. N-methyl-D-aspartate receptor ( NMDAR) agonist quinolinic acid (QUIN)- induced excitotoxicity has been implicated in neurodegeneration and mimics Huntington's disease ( HD) by the loss of medium-sized spiny projection neurons while sparing medium-sized aspiny interneurons in the striatum. Previous work suggests that somatostatin/neuropeptide Y (SST/NPY)-containing neurons are selectively preserved in HD due to the presence of nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide phosphate diaphorase (NADPH-d) and the lack of NMDAR. In the present study, the distribution of somatostatin (SST), neuropeptide Y ( NPY), nitric oxide synthase (nNOS), NMDA receptor type-1 (NR1), and the enzyme NADPH-d was determined in cultured striatal neurons with the effect of QUIN and N-methyl-D-aspartate (NMDA). SST/ NPY-positive neurons, which constitute approximately 8-10% of striatal neurons, are selectively spared in QUIN/NMDA-treated cultures. nNOS and NADPH-d-positive neurons, comprising 3.8% of the neuronal population, also exhibit selective resistance to excitotoxicity. Most NR1-positive neurons, which constitute >80% of the total neuronal population, are lost in majority upon treatment with QUIN and NMDA. SST and NADPH-d-positive neurons also colocalize with Cu/Zn superoxide dismutase (Cu/Zn SOD). In conclusion, our results thus demonstrate that SST/ NPY/nNOS-positive neurons are selectively spared in NMDA agonist-induced excitotoxicity, which could be attributed to the presence of Cu/Zn SOD and NADPH-d in addition to the low abundance of NMDAR on these neurons.[1]


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