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J Neurochem. 1988 Dec;51(6):1765-70.

Homocysteic acid as a putative excitatory amino acid neurotransmitter: I. Postsynaptic characteristics at N-methyl-D-aspartate-type receptors on striatal cholinergic interneurons.

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Research Department, Ciba-Geigy Corp., Summit, New Jersey.


The actions of the stereoisomers of homocysteic acid (HCA) were characterized at N-methyl-D-aspartate (NMDA)-type receptors which mediate excitatory amino acid-evoked [3H]acetylcholine ([3H]ACh) release from striatal cholinergic interneurons. Like NMDA, L-HCA and D-HCA evoked the release of [3H]ACh formed from [3H]choline in striatal slices. The concentration-response curve for L-HCA was virtually superimposable on that for NMDA, yielding an equal EC50 value (56.1 microM) and maximal response. However, D-HCA was weaker, with an EC50 value of 81.1 microM, and an apparently smaller maximal response. L-HCA-evoked [3H]ACh release was inhibited by the same categories of compounds which inhibit NMDA-evoked [3H]ACh release: the divalent ion Mg2+ (IC50 = 25.8 microM); competitive NMDA antagonists 2-amino-7-phosphonoheptanoate (IC50 = 51.2 microM) and 3-(2-carboxypiperazin-4-yl)propyl-1-phosphonic acid (IC50 = 20.1 microM); and the dissociative anesthetics tiletamine (IC50 = 0.59 microM) and MK-801 (IC50 = 0.087 microM). Like NMDA, L-HCA produced a tachyphylaxis in this system. Tachyphylaxis to NMDA resulted in a decrease response to L-HCA, and conversely, tachyphylaxis to L-HCA resulted in a decrease response to NMDA. The results suggest that L-HCA is an agonist at the NMDA-type receptor and may represent an endogenous ligand for this excitatory amino acid receptor.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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