Kainic acid induces sprouting of retinal neurons

Science. 1984 Feb 3;223(4635):503-4. doi: 10.1126/science.6691162.


The neurotoxin kainic acid caused dose-dependent morphological changes in horizontal cells of the retinas of adult cats and rabbits. High concentrations of kainic acid killed the cells, but when exposed to sublethal doses they contracted their dendritic fields and sent sprouting processes into the inner retina. It appears that kainic acid can induce neuronal growth as well as degeneration and that the potential for morphological plasticity is still present in neurons of the adult mammalian retina.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Cats
  • Dendrites / ultrastructure
  • Dose-Response Relationship, Drug
  • Kainic Acid / pharmacology*
  • Nerve Degeneration / drug effects
  • Neurons / cytology
  • Neurons / drug effects*
  • Pyrrolidines / pharmacology*
  • Rabbits
  • Retina / cytology
  • Retina / drug effects*


  • Pyrrolidines
  • Kainic Acid