The effects of excitatory amino acids and their antagonists on the generation of motor activity in the isolated chick spinal cord

Brain Res. 1987 Dec 1;433(2):271-6. doi: 10.1016/0165-3806(87)90030-7.


We have investigated the action of excitatory amino acids and their antagonists on spontaneous motor activity produced by an isolated preparation of the chick lumbosacral cord. Bath application of N-methyl-DL-aspartic acid (NMDA) or D-glutamate increased the occurrence and duration of spontaneous episodes of motor activity. Both NMDA-induced and spontaneous activity were reversibly inhibited by several excitatory amino acid antagonists including 2-amino-5-phosphono valeric acid and gamma-D-glutamyl glycine in a dose-dependent manner. These results suggest that motor activity in the chick spinal cord may be regulated by the release of endogenous excitatory amino acids from spinal interneurons.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • 2-Amino-5-phosphonovalerate
  • Amino Acids / antagonists & inhibitors*
  • Animals
  • Aspartic Acid / analogs & derivatives*
  • Aspartic Acid / pharmacology
  • Chick Embryo
  • Convulsants / pharmacology
  • Dipeptides / pharmacology*
  • In Vitro Techniques
  • Kynurenic Acid / pharmacology*
  • Motor Activity / drug effects*
  • Motor Neurons / drug effects
  • Motor Neurons / physiology*
  • N-Methylaspartate
  • Spinal Cord / drug effects
  • Spinal Cord / physiology*
  • Valine / analogs & derivatives*
  • Valine / pharmacology


  • Amino Acids
  • Convulsants
  • Dipeptides
  • gamma-glutamylglycine
  • Aspartic Acid
  • N-Methylaspartate
  • 2-Amino-5-phosphonovalerate
  • Kynurenic Acid
  • Valine