Behavioral classification of excitatory amino acid receptors in mouse spinal cord

Gideon Urca*, Gladys Raigorodsky

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Intrathecal injections of excitatory amino acid (EAA) agonists to the spinal cord of mice produces behavioral activation manifest as biting and scratching of the hindquarters. The dose-response relationship of EAA (N-methyl-D-aspartate (NMDA), kainate, quisqualate and glutamate)-induced activation revealed qualitative and quantitative differences in their pattern of action, suggesting that these agonists act at distinct receptors. Evaluation of the blockade of EAA-induced bites by a series of antagonists: DL-2-amino-5-phosphonovalerate (APV), γ-D-glutamyl glycine (DGG), kynurenate and glutamylaminomethylsulphonate (GAMS), indicated that selective activation of the NMDA, quisqualate and kainate receptors can be demonstrated using this behavior. The NMDA receptors could be subdivided on the basis of different sensitivity to kynurenate and APV. Antagonist-resistant components of both kainate and quisqualate action were also shown. Thus, the biting behavior induced by the administration of intrathecal EAA agonists can be used as a relatively selective behavioral tool for assessing the pharmacological profile of action of excitatory amino acid agonists and antagonists in the spinal cord.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)211-220
Number of pages10
JournalEuropean Journal of Pharmacology
Issue number2-3
StatePublished - 24 Aug 1988


FundersFunder number
E. Smith Foundation
Israel Institure for Psychobiology


    • Excitatory amino acid receptors
    • Excitatory amino acids
    • Spinal cord


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