Energy and glutamate dependency of 3-nitropropionic acid neurotoxicity in culture EXPERIMENTAL NEUROLOGY Fink, S. L., Ho, D. Y., Sapolsky, R. M. 1996; 138 (2): 298-304


3-Nitropropionic acid (3-NP) irreversibly inhibits the activity of the mitochondrial enzyme succinate dehydrogenase, leading to selective striatal lesions when administered in vivo. We studied the effects of 3-NP on dissociated cultures of neurons and glia with the following findings: (a) 3-NP killed cultured striatal neurons with a median lethal dose of 2.5 mM after 20 h of incubation in 20.0 mM glucose medium. Despite its selective toxicity in vivo, cultured striatal, hippocampal, septal, and hypothalamic neurons were similarly sensitive to 3-NP incubation. (b) 3-NP's effects were remarkably energy substrate dependent, with the median lethal dose dropping over an order of magnitude when glucose concentrations were lowered to 3.0 mM, a condition that was itself nontoxic. Cultures exposed to 3-NP had a far greater sensitivity to energy availability than those exposed to glutamate. (c) Recent work suggests that 3-NP toxicity may be partially mediated by excitotoxins. Our experiments show that neither kynurenic acid, a nonspecific glutamate receptor antagonist, nor the NMDA-receptor antagonist, DL-2-amino-7-phosphonoheptanoic acid, either in combination or alone, reduced 3-NP toxicity in striatal cultures. However, the noncompetitive NMDA antagonist MK-801 did attenuate 3-NP toxicity.

View details for Web of Science ID A1996UF07800013

View details for PubMedID 8620928