Food and chemical toxicology : an international journal published for the British Industrial Biological Research Association

New insights into the mechanism of neurolathyrism: L-β-ODAP triggers [Ca2+]i accumulation and cell death in primary motor neurons through transient receptor potential channels and metabotropic glutamate receptors.

PMID 24582715


Neurolathyrism is a motor neuron (MN) disease caused by β-N-oxalyl-L-α,β-diaminopropionic acid (L-β-ODAP), an AMPA receptor agonist. L-β-ODAP caused a prolonged rise of intracellular Ca(2+) ([Ca(2+)]i) in rat spinal cord MNs, and the [Ca(2+)]i accumulation was inversely proportional to the MN's life span. The [Ca(2+)]i rise induced by L-β-ODAP or (S)-AMPA was antagonized completely by NBQX, an AMPA-receptor blocker. However, blocking the L-type Ca(2+) channel with nifedipine significantly lowered [Ca(2+)]i induced by (S)-AMPA, but not that by L-β-ODAP. Tetrodotoxin completely extinguished the [Ca(2+)]i rise induced by (S)-AMPA or kainic acid, whereas that induced by L-β-ODAP was only attenuated by 65.6±6% indicating the prominent involvement of voltage-independent Ca(2+) entry. The tetrodotoxin-resistant [Ca(2+)]i induced by L-β-ODAP was blocked by 2-APB, Gd(3+), La(3+), 1-(β-[3-(4-methoxy-phenyl)propoxy]-4-methoxyphenethyl)-1H-imidazole hydrochloride (SKF-96365) and flufenamic acid, which all are blockers of the transient receptor potential (TRP) channels. Blockers of group I metabotropic glutamate receptors (mGluR I), 7-(hydroxyiminocyclopropan[b]chromen-1α-carboxylate ethyl ester (CPCCPEt) and 2-methyl-6-(phenylethynyl)-pyridine (MPEP) also lowered the [Ca(2+)]i rise by L-β-ODAP. MN cell death induced by L-β-ODAP was prolonged significantly with SKF-96365 as well as NBQX. The results show the involvement of TRPs and mGluR I in L-β-ODAP-induced MN toxicity through prolonged [Ca(2+)]i mobilization, a unique characteristic of this neurotoxin.

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β-ODAP, ≥98% (HPLC)