Degeneration of rat thalamic reticular neurons following intrathalamic domoic acid injection

Neurosci Lett. 1993 Mar 5;151(1):115-9. doi: 10.1016/0304-3940(93)90060-x.


Domoic acid (DA), an analog of kainic acid, produces attentional deficits in humans who have ingested shell fish contaminated with this excitotoxin. The thalamic reticular nucleus (RT), by virtue of its location, connections and intrinsic properties, has been implicated in attentional processes. This study demonstrated the vulnerability of RT neurons following intrathalamic DA injections in rats. Lesions were characterized by almost total neuronal loss throughout the RT and sparing of adjacent populations of relay neurons in the VL and VPL. Los of RT neurons may underlie some types of attentional deficits observed in humans following DA poisoning.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Dopamine / toxicity
  • In Vitro Techniques
  • Injections
  • Kainic Acid / administration & dosage
  • Kainic Acid / analogs & derivatives*
  • Kainic Acid / pharmacology
  • Male
  • Motor Activity / drug effects
  • Nerve Degeneration / drug effects
  • Neuromuscular Depolarizing Agents / administration & dosage
  • Neuromuscular Depolarizing Agents / pharmacology*
  • Rats
  • Reticular Formation / cytology*
  • Reticular Formation / drug effects
  • Reticular Formation / physiology
  • Thalamic Nuclei / cytology*
  • Thalamic Nuclei / drug effects
  • Thalamic Nuclei / physiology
  • Thalamus


  • Neuromuscular Depolarizing Agents
  • domoic acid
  • Kainic Acid
  • Dopamine