Modulation of N-methyl-D-aspartate receptors by hydroxyl radicals in rat cortical neurons in vitro

Neurosci Lett. 1995 Apr 7;189(1):57-9. doi: 10.1016/0304-3940(95)11442-y.


Oxygen-derived reactive species generated by xanthine/xanthine oxidase (X/XO) can modulate the N-methyl-D-aspartate (NMDA) receptor via its redox-sensitive site. Here it is shown that hydroxyl radicals are the agents responsible for NMDA receptor oxidation by X/XO. Spectrophotometric assays revealed that the amounts of superoxide anion and H2O2 produced by X/XO were not decreased by the hydroxyl radical-specific scavenger mannitol. This sugar, however, could prevent most of the oxidizing actions of NMDA receptors by X/XO, but not by the thiol oxidizing agent 5,5 -dithio-bis-nitrobenzoic acid. Finally, a non-enzymatic source of hydroxyl radicals was also effective in oxidizing the receptor's redox site. Hydroxyl radicals may thus represent the final common pathway for the modulation of NMDA receptor function by oxygen-derived free radical generating systems.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Anions / metabolism
  • Cerebral Cortex / cytology
  • Cerebral Cortex / drug effects*
  • Cerebral Cortex / metabolism*
  • Dithiothreitol / pharmacology
  • Hydrogen Peroxide / metabolism
  • Hydroxyl Radical / pharmacology*
  • Mannitol / pharmacology
  • Neurons / metabolism*
  • Oxidation-Reduction / drug effects
  • Rats
  • Receptors, N-Methyl-D-Aspartate / drug effects*
  • Receptors, N-Methyl-D-Aspartate / metabolism*
  • Spectrophotometry
  • Superoxides / metabolism
  • Xanthine
  • Xanthine Oxidase / pharmacology
  • Xanthines / pharmacology


  • Anions
  • Receptors, N-Methyl-D-Aspartate
  • Xanthines
  • Superoxides
  • Xanthine
  • Hydroxyl Radical
  • Mannitol
  • Hydrogen Peroxide
  • Xanthine Oxidase
  • Dithiothreitol