The l-isomer of β-N-methylamino-l-alanine (BMAA), present in free form in seed of Cycas circinalis, elicits in spinal cord cultures a pattern of acute postsynaptic neuronal vacuolation comparable to that induced by β-N-oxalylamino-l-alanine (BOAA), an excitotoxic amino acid of greater potency isolated from seed of Lathyrus sativus. The neuronotoxic properties of these compounds may be linked to the etiology of motor-system degenerative disorders (amyotrophic lateral sclerosis and lathyrism, respectively) found in human groups that have used these plant seeds for food.
- β-N-Oxalylamino-l-alanine (BOAA)
- β-N-methylamino-l-alanine (BMAA)
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Molecular Biology
- Clinical Neurology
- Developmental Biology