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Brain Res Dev Brain Res. 2005 Nov 7;160(1):85-9. Epub 2005 Sep 9.

Embryonic cerebellar granule cells are resistant to necrosis induced by homocysteine.

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  • 1School of Biology, University of St. Andrews, Bute Medical Buildings, St. Mary's Quad, St. Andrews, Fife KY16 9TS, Scotland.


Hyperhomocysteinemia is a risk factor for a range of neurodegenerative conditions, yet its effects in the developing nervous system have been poorly elucidated. We studied the in vitro response of cerebellar granule neurons (CGCs) to homocysteine. We have shown that embryonic CGCs are resistant to homocysteine-induced neurotoxicity, whilst postnatal CGCs are not. This is the first demonstration of a neuronal population undergoing a developmental switch in their response to homocysteine. Greater understanding of this change may have important implications for both neurodegenerative conditions and neurodevelopmental disorders.

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