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Neurosci Lett. 1990 Jul 31;115(2-3):313-7.

Magnesium removal induces paroxysmal neuronal firing and NMDA receptor-mediated neuronal degeneration in cortical cultures.

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Department of Neurology, Stanford University Medical Center, CA 94305.


Removal of extracellular Mg2+ triggered the onset of repetitive excitatory discharges in cultured murine cortical neurons, detected by recording with patch electrodes in the whole cell configuration. The discharges were suppressed by 100 microM D-2-amino-5-phosphonovalerate. Over the next 24-72 h substantial numbers of neurons, but not glia, degenerated, releasing lactate dehydrogenase to the bathing medium. The neuronal death induced by removal of extracellular Mg2+ could be attenuated by either 3 microM tetrodotoxin or 50 microM dextrorphan, and thus likely reflects excessive activation of N-methyl-D-aspartate receptors triggered by excitatory discharges. This Mg2+ removal model may be a useful model in which to study certain aspects of epileptic neocortical injury.

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