Hypoglycemia-induced neuronal damage prevented by an N-methyl-D-aspartate antagonist

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Science  08 Nov 1985:
Vol. 230, Issue 4726, pp. 681-683
DOI: 10.1126/science.2996146


The possibility that neuronal damage due to hypoglycemia is induced by agonists acting on the N-methyl-D-aspartate (NMDA) receptor was investigated in the rat caudate nucleus. Local injections of an NMDA receptor antagonist, 2-amino-7-phosphonoheptanoic acid, were performed before induction of 30 minutes of reversible, insulin-induced, hypoglycemic coma. Neuronal necrosis in these animals after 1 week of recovery was reduced 90 percent compared to that in saline-injected animals. The results suggest that hypoglycemic neuronal damage is induced by NMDA receptor agonists, such as the excitatory amino acids or related compounds.

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