Quinolinic acid: an endogenous metabolite that produces axon-sparing lesions in rat brain

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Science  21 Jan 1983:
Vol. 219, Issue 4582, pp. 316-318
DOI: 10.1126/science.6849138


A current hypothesis links the neuroexcitatory properties of certain acidic amino acids to their ability to cause selective neuronal lesions. Intracerebral injection of the neuroexcitatory tryptophan metabolite, quinolinic acid, has behavioral, neurochemical, and neuropathological consequences reminiscent of those of exogenous excitotoxins, such as kainic and ibotenic acids. Its qualities as a neurotoxic agent suggest that quinolinic acid should be considered as a possible pathogenic factor in neurodegenerative disorders.

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