β‐N‐Oxalylamino‐l‐Alanine: Action on High‐Affinity Transport of Neurotransmitters in Rat Brain and Spinal Cord Synaptosomes

Stephen M. Ross, D. N. Roy, Peter S. Spencer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

31 Scopus citations

Abstract

Abstract: β‐N‐Oxalylamino‐l‐alanine (BOAA) is a dicarboxylic diamino acid present in Lathyrus sativus (chickling pea). Excessive oral intake of this legume in remote areas of the world causes humans and animals to develop a type of spastic paraparesis known as lathyrism. BOAA is one of several neuroactive glutamate analogs reported to stimulate excitatory receptors and, in high concentrations, cause neuronal vacuolation and necrosis. The present study investigates the action of BOAA in vitro on CNS high‐affinity transport systems for glutamate, γ‐aminobutyric acid (GABA), aspartate, glycine, and choline and in the activity of glutamate decarboxylase (GAD), the rate‐limiting enzyme in the decarboxylation of glutamate to GABA. Crude synaptosomal fractions (P2) from rat brain and spinal cord were used for all studies. [3H]Aspartate transport in brain and spinal cord synaptosomes was reduced as a function of BOAA concentration, with reductions to 40 and 30% of control values, respectively, after 15‐min preincubation with 1 mM BOAA. Under similar conditions, transport of [3H]glutamate was reduced to 74% (brain) and 60% (spinal cord) of control values. High‐affinity transport of [3H]GABA, [3H]glycine, and [3H]choline, and the enzyme activity of GAD, were unaffected by 1 mM BOAA. While these data are consistent with the excitotoxic (convulsant) activity of BOAA, their relationship to the pathogenesis of lathyrism is unknown.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)886-892
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of neurochemistry
Volume44
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - Mar 1985
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Amino acid neurotransmitters
  • High‐affinity transport
  • Spinal cord and brain
  • β‐N‐Oxalylamino‐l‐alanine

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience

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