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Brain Res Brain Res Rev. 1991 May-Aug;16(2):171-91.

Excitatory amino acid receptors, neural membrane phospholipid metabolism and neurological disorders.

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Department of Medical Biochemistry, Ohio State University, Columbus 43210.


Excitatory amino acids and their receptors play an important role in membrane phospholipid metabolism. Persistent stimulation of excitatory amino acid receptors by glutamate may be involved in neurodegenerative diseases and brain and spinal cord trauma. The molecular mechanism of neurodegeneration induced by excitatory amino acids is, however, not known. Excitotoxin induced calcium entry causes the stimulation of phospholipases and lipases. These enzymes act on neural membrane phospholipids and their stimulation results in accumulation of free fatty acids, diacylglycerols, eicosanoids and lipid peroxides in neurodegenerative diseases and brain and spinal cord trauma. Other enzymes such as protein kinase C and calcium-dependent proteases may also contribute to the neuronal injury. Excitotoxin-induced alteration in membrane phospholipid metabolism in neurodegenerative diseases and neural trauma can be studied in animal and cell culture models. The models can be used to study the molecular mechanisms of the neurodegenerative processes and to screen the efficacy of therapeutic drugs for neurodegenerative disease and brain and spinal cord trauma.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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