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Neurosignals. 2005;14(6):303-16.

Ablation of gene expression of N-methyl-D-aspartate receptor one by antisense oligonucleotides in striatal neurons in culture.

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Department of Biology, Hong Kong Baptist University, Kowloon Tong, PR China.


In the present study, a twenty-mer antisense oligonucleotide specific for N-methyl-D-aspartate receptor one (ANR1) was applied to striatal neurons in primary cell culture. The ANR1 was found to be specific and nontoxic. Significant reductions in expression of NR1 mRNA and proteins were resulted after a single dose of ANR1 transcripts. Interestingly, there were reductions in total NR1 proteins but two phosphorylated forms of NR1 proteins at serine 896 and 897 residues were not reduced. There was also no change in the pattern of distribution of NR1 immunoreactivity in the striatal neurons. In addition, significant reductions of NMDA-mediated peak inward current were found after application of a higher concentration of ANR1 (20-100 microM) by patch clamp recordings. The present results indicate that ANR1 is a useful agent in reducing NMDA receptor functions. The present data thus provide detailed cellular and molecular mechanisms to explain our previous findings of amelioration of motor symptoms in a rat model of Parkinson's disease. More importantly, application of ANR1 was also found to display neuroprotective effects of striatal neurons against NMDA-induced excitotoxic cell death. The findings have implications in development of new approach in prevention of cell death in neurodegenerative diseases and new treatments for these diseases.

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