The PARP inhibitor benzamide protects against kainate and NMDA but not AMPA lesioning of the mouse striatum in vivo

Cristina Cosi, Karen Guerin, Marc Marien, Wouter Koek, Karin Rollet

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

14 Scopus citations


Overactivation of poly(ADP-ribose) polymerase (PARP) in response to genotoxic insults can cause cell death by energy deprivation. We previously reported that neurotoxic amounts of kainic acid (KA) injected into the rat striatum produce time-dependent changes in striatal PARP activity in vivo. Here, we have investigated the time-course of KA-induced toxicity and the effects of the PARP inhibitor benzamide on KA, AMPA and NMDA neurotoxicities in vivo, by measuring changes in the volume of the lesion and in NAD+ and ATP levels induced by the intra-striatal injection of these excitotoxins in C57Bl/6N mice. The KA-induced lesion volume was dependent on the amount of toxin injected and the survival time. The lesion was well developed at 48 h and was almost undetectable after one week. KA produced an extensive astrogliosis at one week. Benzamide partially prevented both KA- and NMDA- but not AMPA-induced lesions when measured at 48 h after the treatment. The effects of benzamide appeared to be in part related to changes in energy metabolism, since KA produced decreases in striatal levels of NAD+ and ATP that were partially prevented by benzamide at 48 h and which returned to control levels at one week. NMDA did not affect NAD+ and induced little alteration in ATP levels. Benzamide had no effect on AMPA-induced decreases in either NAD+ or ATP levels at 48 h. These results (1) indicate that PARP overactivation and energy depletion could be responsible in part for the cellular demise during the development of the lesion induced by KA; (2) confirm that PARP is involved in NMDA but not AMPA toxicities; (3) suggest the existence of differences between KA and AMPA-mediated toxicities; and (4) provide further evidence supporting PARP as a novel target for new drug treatments against neurodegenerative disorders.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1-8
Number of pages8
JournalBrain Research
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 16 2004
Externally publishedYes


  • AMPA
  • Benzamide
  • C57Bl/6N mouse
  • Excitotoxicity
  • Kainate
  • NMDA
  • Poly(ADP-ribose) polymerase

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuroscience(all)
  • Molecular Biology
  • Clinical Neurology
  • Developmental Biology


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