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Eur J Pharmacol. 2000 Aug 18;402(1-2):31-7.

Neuroprotection produced by the NAALADase inhibitor 2-PMPA in rat cerebellar neurons.

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Division of Neurosciences, Walter Reed Army Institute of Research, Silver Spring, MD 20910-7500, USA.


The present study examined the neuroprotective actions of the N-acetylated-alpha-linked-acidic dipeptidase (NAALADase) inhibitor 2-(phosphonomethyl)pentanedioic acid (2-PMPA) in four in vitro models of neurotoxicity. Using neuron-enriched primary cultures derived from rat embryo (E15) cerebellum, 2-PMPA afforded 100% neuroprotection from injuries induced by hypoxia (EC(50)=8.4 microM). In contrast, against glutamate or N-methyl-D-aspartate (NMDA) injury, 2-PMPA was less potent and its efficacy limited to a maximum of 46% and 16%, respectively. 2-PMPA was not effective against veratridine-induced injury. Also, the less potent analog of 2-PMPA, 2-[phosphonomethyl]succinic acid (2-PMSA), was ineffective. Unlike 2-PMPA, the endogenous NAALADase substrate and mGlu(3) receptor agonist N-acetyl-aspartyl-glutamate (NAAG) was neuroprotective against all four injury mechanisms and compared to 2-PMPA, exhibited a different "phosphate effect" on neuroprotection. These results confirm the superior efficacy of 2-PMPA to protect against injury caused by cellular anoxia, and are discussed relative to upstream modulation of hyperglutamatergic activity vs. downstream modulation of metabotropic receptors as possible targets for ischemia/stroke therapy.

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