Topiramate protects against motor neuron degeneration in organotypic spinal cord cultures but not in G93A SOD1 transgenic mice

Nicholas J. Maragakis, Mandy Jackson, Raquelli Ganel, Jeffrey D. Rothstein

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

Abstract

Topiramate is a novel anti-convulsant, structurally distinct from other known anti-convulsants. A number of independent studies suggest that topiramate has anti-excitotoxic properties. It has been found to diminish release of glutamate from neurons and block (-amino-3-hydoxy-5-methylisoxazole-4-proprionic acid glutamate receptor evoked currents. Since activation of non-N-methyl-D-aspartate glutamate receptors is thought to play a role in the selective loss of motor neurons in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), we determined whether topiramate could protect against chronic glutamate-mediated motor neuron degeneration. An organotypic spinal cord culture system was used in which glutamate transport is inhibited by pharmacological blockade. After 3 weeks of treatment, topiramate was found to significantly prevent motor neuron degeneration in this culture model. However, the drug did not increase survival in G93A SOD1 transgenic mice, an animal model of ALS. These studies suggest that topiramate could be useful as a neuroprotectant, but were not effective in more complex motor injury paradigms such as the mouse model of ALS.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)107-110
Number of pages4
JournalNeuroscience Letters
Volume338
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Feb 27 2003

Keywords

  • Excitotoxicity
  • Glutamate
  • Motor neuron
  • Topiramate

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuroscience(all)

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