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

The toxic effects of ethylcholine mustard aziridinium ion on cholinergic cells in the chicken retina.

The chicken retina has been used to examine the toxicity of a highly reactive chemical analog of choline, ethylcholine mustard aziridinium ion (ECMA). Following a single intravitreal injection, retinas were analyzed biochemically for CAT and AChE activities, and GABA, glycine, and dopamine levels. Retinas were also examined using histofluorescence for dopamine histochemistry, for AChE, and immunohistochemistry with antibodies to CAT, tyrosine hydroxylase, GABA, 5-HT, Leu-enkephalin, and somatostatin. A dose of 50 nmol ECMA caused a prolonged 70% depletion of CAT activity and a 40% depletion of AChE activity. The other biochemical parameters were unchanged. This result corresponds to the morphological finding that 2 populations of cholinergic cells were destroyed and that the AChE activity associated with their terminal arbors was lost. A third population of cholinergic cells, located towards the middle of the inner nuclear layer, was resistant to the toxic effects of ECMA. The other cell types, except for somatostatin-immunoreactive cells and photoreceptors, which showed transient effects, were unaffected. ECMA therefore appears to be a highly specific toxin for cholinergic cells in the retina.[1]


  1. The toxic effects of ethylcholine mustard aziridinium ion on cholinergic cells in the chicken retina. Millar, T.J., Ishimoto, I., Boelen, M., Epstein, M.L., Johnson, C.D., Morgan, I.G. J. Neurosci. (1987) [Pubmed]
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