The role of N-methyl-D-aspartic acid receptors (NMDARs) of glutamate on neuritogenesis was studied in cultured neurons of chick embryo spinal cord using the NMDAR non-competitive antagonist dizocilpine maleate (MK-801). No cell population was fully prevented from neuritogenesis by MK-801. Different aspects of neuritogenesis were quantitatively evaluated. Neurite initiation, elongation and branching were depressed by MK-801. Inhibition was dose-dependent and reversible. A loss of responsiveness of neuritogenesis to MK-801 was found during the second day of treatment at a concentration of 10 μM, but not at higher concentrations. Our findings support the idea that Ca2+ influx through NMDAR associated channels is one of the possible triggers of a cascade resulting in neuritogenesis. The effects of NMDAR blocking on neuritogenesis occurred before synaptogenesis, suggesting a role of excitatory aminoacids in neuron morphological differentiation at early stages of development. Scanning electron microscopy confirmed a reduction in neurite tree complexity in MK-801 treated cells and showed a production of filopodium-like processes in some of these cells.
|Number of pages||10|
|Journal||Journal of Submicroscopic Cytology and Pathology|
|Publication status||Published - Jan 1999|
- Chick embryo
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cell Biology
- Pathology and Forensic Medicine