Excitatory amino acid neurotoxicity has been proposed to cause the neostriatal neuronal degeneration of Huntington's disease (HD); N -methyl-d-aspartate (NMDA), α-amino-3-hydroxy-5-methyl-4-isoxazole propionic acid (AMPA), and kainate receptors have been hypothesized to play important roles in this process. We have recently reported a loss of neurons in layer VI of the cerebral cortex in HD. Using quantitative autoradiographic methods, we have now measured NMDA, AMPA, and kainate receptor binding in the frontal cerebral cortex of the brains of controls and individuals with HD. We find no change in NMDA receptor binding but a selective decrease in kainate and AMPA receptor binding in layer VI. These data suggest that cerebral cortical neurons possessing kainate or AMPA receptors may be selectively vulnerable in individuals with HD.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Developmental Neuroscience